Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forestry (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Blair D Orr


Small-scale farmers in the Chipata District of Zambia rely on their farm fields to grow maize and groundnuts for food security. Cotton production and surplus food security crops are used to generate income to provide for their families. With increasing population pressure, available land has decreased and farmers struggle to provide the necessary food requirements and income to meet their family’s needs. The purpose of the study was to determine how a farmer can best allocate his land to produce maize, groundnuts and cotton when constrained by labor and capital resources to generate the highest potential for food security and financial gains. Data from the 2008-2009 growing season was compiled and analyzed using a linear programming model. The study determined that farmers make the most profit by allocating all additional land and resources to cotton after meeting their minimum food security requirements. The study suggests growing cotton is a beneficial practice for small-scale subsistence farmers to generate income when restricted by limited resources.