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University of Zululand (2019)

The sustainability of agricultural projects in enhancing rural economic development in Msinga local municipality

Mbatha, Mfaniseni Wiseman

Titre : The sustainability of agricultural projects in enhancing rural economic development in Msinga local municipality

Auteur : Mbatha, Mfaniseni Wiseman

Université de soutenance : University of Zululand

Grade : Master of Arts in Development Studies 2019

Résumé
The South African government’s target was to ensure a significant growth in rural economies through appropriate prioritisation of the agricultural sector. This study analyses the sustainability of agricultural projects in enhancing rural economic development in Msinga Local Municipality. This study employed mixed methods approach with a convergent parallel design to analyse the sustainability of agricultural projects toward enhancing rural economic development. The participants of this study consisted of households (n=180), key informants (n=6) and focus groups (n=5). Data were collected through the use of document analysis, questionnaires, focus group discussion and semi-structured interviews. Content analysis and SPSS with descriptive statistics and cross tabulation were used to analyse and categorise the data in order to obtain the objectives of the study. The study found that there is high level of community participation in subsistence agricultural sector within the study area. However, subsistence agriculture has shown to be unsustainable due to low productivity caused by adverse climate change conditions. Some aspects of the results specified that MLM is mostly dominated by subsistence farming. Subsistence farming is facing challenges that puts its sustainability in jeopardy. While on the one hand subsistence farming sector does not allow farmers to sell their produce to the market. On the other hand, it usually serves as a source of ensuring food availability at a household level. The issue of climate change have a negative impact on the productivity of agricultural projects due to the inadequate rainfall and water scarcity for irrigation. The deficiency in infrastructural services has turned to be a constraint to small scale farmers in their quest to access the market. There is poor availability of transport facilities and market place where farmers can sell their produce. The results also showed that lack of skills, knowledge and information amongst farmers is a problem that destructively impacts on the ability of agriculture to contribute in improving rural economic development. It is recommended that the Department of Agriculture provides adequate training to assist rural small scale farmers in order to maintain the sustainability of agricultural projects. The study also recommends that both local municipality and Department of vii Agriculture should motivate subsistence farmers to engage in agricultural activities as corporations, so that these farmers cannot struggle in scouting financial resources. Lastly, further research should analyse challenges that constrain the transformation of rural subsistence farming sector to reach the level of small scale farming sector.

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