Volume 1 Number 1 December 2010
The Identification of Barriers to Agriculture-Tourism Linkages in the U.S. Virgin Islands: Production, Marketing, and Public Policy
Author_ Francis A. Mwaijande, Eric Wailes and Brinck Kerr
Abstract_ Identification of barriers for agri-tourism linkages is crucial for developing pro-agricultural growth policies. This paper identifies barriers to the creation of sustainable economic linkages between the agriculture and tourism sectors in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The paper addresses the following research questions: How does one identify barriers to agri-tourism linkages? And if there are barriers, are there policy options that can be implemented to help develop the agri-tourism linkages? Data collected from farmers and policymakers indicate lack of water for irrigation, lack of government support, lack of farm labor, and lack of access to land as the most critical production barriers. On the other hand, farmers, the tourism/hospitality industry, and policymakers indicated that the most critical market barriers were inadequate and inconsistent supply of local food, competition from imported foods, and lack of chef-farmer coordination. All interviewed stakeholders expressed interest in creating agri-tourism linkages. In this article, we offer some policy options to address the identified barriers such as providing infrastructure for irrigation water, enhancement of local government support, and improving the marketing of local foods.
Keywords_ agriculture-tourism, stakeholders, production and marketing barriers, local foods, public policy.
Volume 1 Number 1 December 2010
Determinants of Regional Disparity in Kenya
Author_ Jacob C. Ng’ang’a
Abstract_ Regional disparity is key development challenge in Kenya. Since regional production defines the relative state of a region’s welfare, this study focuses on factors that influence regional production in accounting for regional disparity in Kenya. These factors include literacy level, parliamentary representation in government, security services, and availability of arable land, electricity connection and access to medical care, financial services, portable water, quality communication and transport infrastructure. The study uses modest analytical tools to determine how poverty level, used as a proxy of regional disparity, is explained by these factors. Overall, about half of Kenyans live below the poverty line and only 38 percent of the population have adequate access to medical care. The average fertility in Kenya is 5.4 with 73 percent of the population being literate and only 7 percent connected to electricity. Further, 76.5 percent and 74.3 percent of Kenyans travel at least 5 kilometres to the nearest post services and tarmac road, respectively. Regression results show that literacy levels, access to medical facilities and credit, proportion of arable land, region’s representation in government and proximity to infrastructure in terms of road, security, communication and water positively relate to the pattern of regional disparity in Kenya. However, relatively better regions in Kenya, in terms of lower poverty levels, are not necessary those with better access to water, security, electricity connection and higher tarmac road density. The study therefore recommends policy reforms that prioritize improvement in health, education and financial services in less developed areas. Specifically, the study proposes identification of a critical minimum literacy level for all districts, with adequate interventions to improve access to education in marginal areas. Similarly the government should liaise with private sector in identifying appropriate incentives to attract investment in financial services in areas not adequately served by the existing financial institutions. Finally, in addition to improving the overall infrastructure, enhancing communication services, through appropriate incentives, is a crucial step in reducing regional disparity in Kenya
Keywords_ regional disparity, poverty index, regression analysis, infrastructure, decentralised funds