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University of Limpopo (2014)

Production and commercialisation potential of indigenous leafy vegetables : case study of Capricorn District in the Limpopo Province, South Africa

Mahlangu, Sandile Alexandra

Titre : Production and commercialisation potential of indigenous leafy vegetables : case study of Capricorn District in the Limpopo Province, South Africa

Auteur : Mahlangu, Sandile Alexandra

Université de soutenance : University of Limpopo

Grade : MSc. (Agricultural Economics) 2014

Résumé
There are few plant species commercialised significantly globally and food requirements are mainly met by only few species. However, there is an enormous number of under-utilised species that play a vital role in the livelihood of rural households. These species are referred to as indigenous crops. Indigenous crops are adaptable to local agro-ecological conditions even where there is unreliable rainfall, which is the case in many parts of the country, require a minimum production management, mature early, and are easy to harvest and preserve and require less capital investments. Despite all these, in South Africa indigenous leafy vegetables (ILVs) were not commercialised and most researchers did not pay much attention to do research on possibilities of commercialising these crops. Thus this study investigated the economic potential of commercialising indigenous leafy vegetables in the rural South African context in general and in the study area in particular. The objectives of the study were (1) to identify the socio-economic characteristics of ILVs producers in rural areas of Capricorn district, (2), to investigate constraints faced by farmers in commercialising ILVs in rural areas of Capricorn district, (3), to determine the productivity of indigenous leafy vegetables in rural areas of Capricorn district, and (4), to assess different types of marketing channels of ILVs in rural areas of Capricorn district. The study used Stochastic Frontier Production Function to determine the productivity and to assess the socio-economic characteristics of producers of Indigenous Leafy Vegetables. Bubble chart was used to assess the marketing channels whilst consumer data was captured into a statistical package. The results indicated that there are several significant socio-economic factors that affect ILV production and there are also factors which constraint farmers from commercialising ILVs. Productivity of ILVs in the study area varied a lot among farmers ; some farmers had a high productivity but most farmers had a low productivity. The results indicated that out of the factors included in the analysis significant production factors were ; amount of labour used, cost of hiring tractor service and land devoted to ILVs and inefficiency factors were ; gender, age, household size, farming experience, farm size, v hired labour, primary occupation and land ownership. ILV farmers had no formal marketing channels ; they sold their product direct to consumers or through hawkers. Therefore, the study recommends the integration of science/modern technology and indigenous knowledge, to improve the productivity of ILVs. Since farmers were not technically efficient, therefore it is important to run workshops that will help them improve their production and marketing skills and how to market their products. Or create booklets that have information on how to efficiently produce ILVs. There should also be awareness campaign on the benefit of ILVs in both rural and urban communities. The study also recommends a multi-disciplinary approach in developing the crop ; more stakeholders should be involved so as to make the crop appealing. Finally the study recommends the commercialisation of these crops due to the fact that they have the potential and are demanded in most parts of South Africa.

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