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Smallholder Irrigation Entrepreneurial Development Pathways and Livelihoods in Two Districts in Limpopo Province
Expanded Title:In South Africa, unemployment and poverty are closely associated and the rural areas are nodes of both unemployment and chronic poverty. The 2011 National Census data shows that 23 million people (45.5% of the population) are living below the ‘Upper-Bound’ Poverty Line and 10.2 million people are living below the Food Poverty Line. Rural poverty is the most severe with rural people more than twice as likely to be poor; and the severity of rural poverty is nearly 3 times that of urban dwellers. Women and youth suffer the most. The challenges in tackling poverty are compounded by high unemployment, most visibly reflected in youth unemployment which in 2015 was estimated at 45.3%. This is a crisis indeed. In rural areas, opportunities for wage labour employment are low and rain-fed agriculture is the third-most important means of livelihoods after remittances and wage labour from low-skilled jobs. Agriculture thus makes an important contribution to food security at a household level, particularly for the poorest households. Agriculture is also seen as one of the key strategic opportunities for employment and rural development but smallholder farmers face formidable challenges. It is well-established that a poorly-functioning rural economy with undeveloped infrastructure, weak market linkages and poor agricultural support services isolate rural households from the mainstream economy and from important agricultural value-chains. Weak and conflicted land institutions add uncertainty and limit transactional opportunities. Enhancement of entrepreneurship is seen as key to growth in a free-market economic system including in the agricultural sector. Entrepreneurship in the South African informal sector is by and large, small-scale entrepreneurship, and largely synonymous with self-employment. Two categories of informal enterprise have been identified, namely survivalist enterprises and micro- or growth enterprises. Whilst survivalist enterprises are motivated by necessity (a push factor), generate limited income and rarely go beyond self-employment, micro-enterprises tend to be more motivated by opportunity (a pull factor) and offer the best potential to grow, create employment and bring about economic development. Despite the recognised exclusionary systemic dynamics impacting on smallholders, current policies and strategies for national agricultural and water development focus on the need for a stronger and more vibrant smallholder agriculture sector. The National Development Plan of 2011 contains ambitious goals for intensive crop production activity. Smallholder agriculture, irrigation and entrepreneurship are central themes in this research project and the findings of this project could prove useful when implementation of the proposed agrarian development strategy is considered.
Date Published:01/11/2016
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Agricultural Water - Small holder irrigation, Agricultural Water - Rainwater harvesting
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:2179/1/16
ISBN No:978‐1‐4312‐0854‐8
Authors:Denison J; Dube SV; Masiya TC; Moyo T; Murata C; Mpyana J; van Averbeke LL; Van Averbeke W
Project No:K5/2179
Originator:WRC
Organizations:Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Umhlaba Consulting ; Tshwane University of Technology; University of Pretoria
Document Size:26 610 KB
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