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Appropriate entrepreneurial development paths in the transition from homestead food gardening to smallholder irrigation crop farming in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa
Expanded Title:The case for research to explore the circumstances surrounding the slow pace of the transition from homestead gardening to commercialized farming rests on several interrelated theories and notions. As the problem of poverty and food insecurity have been joined by rising food prices to exacerbate an already desperate humanitarian crisis, policy and academic research has incorporated analytical procedures that involve programme evaluation as well as investment analysis where concern is often about how to allocate scarce resources to meet ever-expanding needs. Again, when such questions are raised, they are accompanied by discussion as to what constitutes the optimum paths to implement an affirmative action policy. Without doubt the most sophisticated economy on the continent as it is described by the Economist (2011), South Africa presents many contradictions that continue to pose policy nightmare. Despite a well-performing macroeconomy, the country has now gained the unenviable reputation of being the most unequal society in the world. With democratic rule in South Africa, policies were introduced to redress the extreme inequalities in income, wealth and livelihoods engendered by apartheid rule. There was the expectation that enhanced access to productive resources such as land and technical support would translate into increased agricultural productivity for the black farmers who make up the bulk of the smallholders in the country (Obi and Pote, 2011). Earlier research as the reform measures got underway, notably Makhura and Mokoena (2003) were of the opinion that the country’s poorer sections would experience increased incomes, which would contribute to poverty reduction. But recent studies suggest that this goal has not been realized and that there has rather been a growing pauperization of the citizens, especially the black population, manifested in deteriorating unemployment rates and poverty levels (Klasen, 1997; May et al., 1998; Klasen and Woolard, 2005, UNDP, 2003; UNDP, 2007). Some of the indicators that have pointed to the deteriorating situation include the unemployment rates, the poverty rates, the Gini Coefficient, and Consumption Expenditure Growth. For instance, while the broadly defined unemployment rates in the country stood at about 31% in 1993 (on the eve of the inception of majority rule in 1994), they had deteriorated to about 38% by 1997, rising to about 39% in 2005. Whereas, nationally, the government had hoped to lower unemployment to about 14%, it still hovered around 25-40% in 2011 (The Economist, 2011). The provincial data are equally disturbing, according to studies conducted in the late 1990s and early 2000s which suggested that provincial unemployment rates in the Eastern Cape may have been in the order of 30-70% (May et al., 1998; Department of Labour, 2003).
Date Published:01/12/2016
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Agricultural Water - Small holder irrigation
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:2178/1/16
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0873-9
Authors:Obi A
Project No:K5/2178
Organizations:University of Fort Hare
Document Size:15 545 KB
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