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Stellenbosch University (2021)

Unlocking the potential of the emerging smallholder farming sector in South African agriculture : an agent-based approach

Zantsi, Siphe

Titre : Unlocking the potential of the emerging smallholder farming sector in South African agriculture : an agent-based approach

Auteur : Zantsi, Siphe

Université de soutenance : Stellenbosch University

Grade : Doctoral Degree (Agricultural Economics) 2021

Résumé partiel
This dissertation investigates how land redistribution can be achieved and how its main prospective beneficiaries, emerging farmers, can be integrated effectively in commercial farming in South Africa. A survey of 833 potential emerging farmers in three provinces with dense populations of smallholders is used together with a survey of 605 commercial farmers across the country. The dissertation first provides an overview of the prominent reasons why land redistribution has achieved little success. It then identifies five main reasons (insufficient post-transfer support, poor beneficiary selection, large farm size coupled with lacking or incompetent farming skills, and the reluctance of the state to give freehold titles to beneficiaries along with limited programme budget) often ascribed to the failure of land redistribution projects. The presented research study addresses two of these reasons directly and others partially as sub-questions through an array of methodologies. The study begins (first phase) by explaining the emerging farmer concept, showing how it is inappropriately used in the South African context and pointing out the dangers associated with this use. It then takes a multifaceted approach and finds that no single measure should be used alone in defining emerging farmers in the South African context. In the second phase, the study deepens this discussion by analysing attributes of the potential emerging farmers through a multivariate analysis and finds five distinct cluster groups of farmers who share similar attributes. It then gives relevant policy recommendations for each cluster. In the third phase, the study delves into land redistribution beneficiary-selection criteria based on the relevant literature, legislative and policy documents, and the profile of potential land redistribution beneficiaries. A suggestion for using a vacancy farm-advertising format for the selection of land reform beneficiaries is then proposed. Inspired by the outcome of the third phase, the study applies a stepwise binary logistic regression in the fourth phase to explore the determinants of the willingness to relocate among potential land redistribution beneficiaries and finds that proxy variables for aspirations and cultural innovation influence this decision among the study participants.

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Page publiée le 21 avril 2022