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Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (2018)

Agricultural development and emerging small-scale farmers in Mbizana Local Municipality

Nxitywa, Nosithembiso

Titre : Agricultural development and emerging small-scale farmers in Mbizana Local Municipality

Auteur : Nxitywa, Nosithembiso

Université de soutenance : Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Grade : M.A in Development Studies 2018

Résumé
The agricultural sector is among one of the sectors that contribute to the economy of the country, in job creation and food security to mention a few aspects. The Eastern Cape Province is one of the poorest provinces in the country where most people depend on small-scale agriculture as their major source of livelihood, particularly in the rural areas. This is mainly due to the challenges of poverty and unemployment. Small-scale farming is a key activity to eliminate poverty and unemployment. However, mainly obstacles prevail and this includes access to markets, support and skills development. This research study aims to investigate the sustainability of small-scale farmers. The data was collected by means of in depth interviews from Mbizana local Municipality. A total of 12 respondents were selected as a sample for this investigation as well as ensuring that data quality is attained. Causal layered analysis was used to analyse the results. The results indicate that small-scale farmers are faced with several challenges which include, finance, skilled contractors and land ownership. Furthermore, it is evident that small-scale farmers are struggling to obtain a sustainable economic return. Farmers can participate in high-value markets by obtaining the required food safety certifications, which otherwise would be inaccessible to them individually but as groups or cooperatives to enhance them to easily access markets. In local informal markets, for instance, smallholders often find their prices undercut by produce that informal traders buy from large-scale commercial farmers. Supermarket chains, on the other hand, provide a lucrative niche market for smallholders but these downstream linkages are limited to smallholders that meet product variety and quality standards.

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