As global food security and staple food, maize has become one of the most widely used cereals for fundamental research. Several important discoveries are reported, some of which are technological processes being used to improve maize crops’ dietetic, phenotypic, genotypic, and organoleptic properties. This chapter provides insight into improved technological techniques such as crossbreeding, genetic cloning, and functional genomics and how they improve the nutritional quality of maize crops. The use of these technological processes could be one of the sustainable strategies in meeting the dietary needs and livelihood of Africa, Mexico, and Latin America’s growing populace.
Part of the book: Maize Genetic Resources
The research was conducted to investigate the production of value-added tea as part of the resuscitation of Tshivhase-Mukumbani Tea Estate. Data were mainly obtained from records kept at the Tshivhase-Mukumbani Tea Estate, through a review of literature and interviews of the selected respondents. Evaluation of economic viability of the value-adding initiative was based on Net Present Value (NPC) and the Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) calculated from time-series data obtained for the period 2005–2012. The quantity of value-added tea produced varied across years, geographical locations, and seasons, with production higher for wetter seasons. The NPV was consistently negative, while the BCR was below unity throughout the study period, implying that the value-adding initiative was economically not feasible. Initiatives for achieving economic sustainability of the value addition were (1) Improve the marketing of the made tea brand Midi Tea as organic and longer shelf life. (2) Good labor contracting management practices to deal with labor disputes and unrest. (3) Good supply chain and procurement management practices to reduce the cost of production (4) Monitoring the impact of climate variability and mitigate by providing irrigation (5) Intercropping tea with a suitable winter yielding crops such as avocadoes or Macadamia.
Part of the book: Sustainable Agricultural Value Chain
This study sought to analyse the value chain of foods sold by street food vendors in the Vhembe district town of Limpopo province. Data were collected using mixed methods, including structured questionnaires administered via face-to-face interviews. Analyses of the value chain activities and actors were conducted among the stages of street food production. Overall, the enterprise sold commonly consumed street foods such as porridge, chicken, beef, and local vegetables, targeting government employees, school children, and daily town visitors. The value chain analysis showed that street food activity in the Vhembe district included purchasing, storage, production, and consumption. The main actors involved in the value activities of the street food enterprise were inputs suppliers, formal and informal traders, transporters, local authorities, and customers. The profit margin calculation highlighted that street food vendors purchasing inputs from the informal vendors without any added expense could make more profit than using formal traders. Future policy interventions should promote value addition along the food sold in the street, providing cold storage facilities closer to street vendors\' stalls in the towns to encourage continued and safe production. The most prioritised production constraints should be addressed, such as access to finance, government support, and managerial skills.
Part of the book: Agricultural Value Chains