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Nelson Mandela University (2019)

Agriculture land abandonment and rural development in South Africa

Mgushelo, Aphiwe

Titre : Agriculture land abandonment and rural development in South Africa

Auteur : Mgushelo, Aphiwe

Université de soutenance : Nelson Mandela University

Grade : Master of Philosophy in Development Finance 2019

Résumé partiel
Vast amounts of agriculture lands have been abandoned over the last decades, worldwide – phenomenally in rural areas (Filho et al., 2016). In South Africa, Agriculture Land Abandonment (ALA) is apparent even to the human eye, but little or nothing is known about it, especially regarding its causes and implications for rural socio-economic development. Agriculture Land Abandonment is critical and highly topical given the ongoing debate on the land issue in South Africa (Friedman, 2018 ; Maromo, 2018). Moreover, the National Development Plan (NDP) identifies agriculture as the main economic activity in rural areas, with the potential to create nearly 1 million new jobs and as a primary means to achieve rural development by 2030 (National Planning Commission (NPC), 2011). To this end, the land must be cultivated to provide work and to banish poverty. This research focuses on Julukuqu, a rural village in the former Transkei homeland, within the O.R. Tambo District in the Eastern Cape province. This research intends to indent and propose a solution for rural development by understanding the causes and consequences of Agriculture Land Abandonment and identifying measures to address this issue. By analysing satellite imagery of the study area over a 15-year period, we are able to establish the extent of Agriculture Land Abandonment. Individual interviews and a focus group discussion were conducted and analysed to provide an understanding of the official positions and grassroots lived experiences. Altogether, the data that was collected yielded 17 usable interviews, which were subjected to thematic analyses. The findings of this research are that : the croplands of Julukuqu were once totally cultivated, but they are now almost (all) totally abandoned with only one person still cultivating their now reduced cropland.

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Page publiée le 21 mai 2020