Typology of smallholder farming in South Africa’s former homelands : towards an appropriate classification system

Pienaar, Petrus Louw (2013-12)

Thesis (MScAgric)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The agriculture sector continues to be viewed as a vehicle through which economic growth and development can be achieved; particularly for developing economies. This view is incorporated in South Africa’s rural development framework in the National Development Plan, which indicated that this sector will be the main driver in developing the country’s rural economies. However, the South African agricultural sector is known to be dualistic; consisting of a large-scale commercial and a small-scale subsistence sector. This study is particularly focused on smallholder farming in South Africa, which have developed as a result of the decades of government intervention that have guided reform driven by the general political and economic philosophy of white domination. The most notable interventions, which drew the line between white and black landholding, were the Natives’ Land Acts of 1913 and 1936, followed by various policy interventions to support White, large-scale agriculture. The question remains whether or not an expanded smallholder sector can significantly contribute to rural development, employment creation and poverty reduction in the former homeland areas of South Africa. In order to answer this question, the need arises for reliable data on smallholder farming, conceptual clarification on definitions of “smallholder” or “small-scale” farmers and diversity among farming systems needs to be taken into account. These considerations are crucial in order to design and implement effective rural development policies. One way of addressing this question is the use of farm typologies. Given the diversity that exists within agricultural systems, various schemes of classification have been developed and evolved over time. The objective of this study is to provide an empirical framework that would classify smallholder farmers in the former homeland areas of South Africa according to their livelihood strategies. This study seeks to achieve the objective in three distinct ways. Firstly, by giving a broad overview of the smallholder sector in South Africa. Secondly, by utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques to identify farming households situated in the former homeland areas, using the General Household Survey (GHS) and the Income and Expenditure Survey (IES). Thirdly, apply multivariate statistical techniques, specifically Principle Component Analysis (PCA) and Cluster Analysis (CA), to develop the ultimate classification system. The results from both typologies suggested eight distinct types or groups of farming households in the former homeland areas. Important findings suggest that higher salary incomes are crucial for the enablement of households to market their produce. Social grants were found to be key in determining livelihood strategies among faming households, most notably old age and child support grants. One of the groups that were identified was typically food insecure, with their agricultural production not sufficiently feeding the household. Lastly, direct agricultural support from the government was clearly focused on livestock services which placed a minority of households at a distinct advantage to sell produce to the market.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die landbousektor word algemeen gesien as een van die moontlike drywers vir ekonomiese groei en landelike ontwikkeling, spesifiek in ontwikkelende lande. Hierdie siening word ook uitgesonder deur die Suid-Afrikaanse ontwikkelingsraamwerk, en by name in die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan wat aandui dat die landbousektor die hoofrol behoort te vervul om landelike gebiede te ontwikkel. Die vermoë om hierdie mandaat uit te voer moet in die konteks van die kenmerkende dualisme raakgesien word. Suid-Afrika het hoofsaaklik twee tipes boere; grootskaalse kommersiële boere en kleinskaalse, meestal bestaansboere, wat meestal in die voormalige tuislande opereer. Hierdie dualisme is die resultaat van verskeie regeringsinmengings, hoofsaaklik gedryf deur die algemene politieke bestel, ideologie en beleid wat op rasseklassifikasie gegrond was gedurende die vorige eeu. Sekerlik een van die mees bekende was die Naturellegrond Wet van 1913 en 1936, wat die skeidingslyn tussen swart en wit grondbesit ingestel het. Verder is verskeie wetgewings implimenteer om die kommersiële landbousektor te bevoordeel gedurende hierdie tydperk.. In hierdie konteks is dit belangrik om te vra of die uitbreiding van die kleinskaalse landbousektor werklik kan bydra tot landelike ontwikkeling, werkskepping en armoedeverligting in die voormalige tuislande van Suid-Afrika. Om hierdie vraag te beantwoord word betroubare inligting benodig, moet die konsep van “kleinskaalse boere” uitgeklaar word en laastens moet diversiteit tussen verskillende boerderystelsels in ag geneem word. Die antwoorde op hierdie vrae is noodsaaklik vir die ontwikkeling en implimentering van effektiewe landelike ontwikkelingsbeleid. Die gebruik van boerderytipologieë is ‘n oplossing om hierdie kwessies aan te spreek. Verskeie klassifikasiesisteme is in die verlede ontwikkel om die diversiteit in boerderystelsels te ondersoek. Die hoof doel van hierdie studie is om ‘n empiriese raamwerk te ontwikkel om kleinskaalse boerderye, wat in die voormalige tuislande voorkom, volgens hul lewensbestaanstrategieë te klassifiseer. Om hierdie doelwit te bereik, sal die studie eerstens ‘n oorsig gee van die kleinskaalse landbousektor in Suid-Afrika. Tweedens sal Geografiese Inligtingstelsels (GIS) tegnieke gebruik word om spesifiek huishoudings in die voormalige tuislande te indentifiseer in die Algemene Huishoudings Opname (AHO) en die Inkomste en Uitgawes Opname (IUO). Derdens sal meerveranderlike statistieke gebruik word, spesifiek Hoofkomponentanalise (HKA) en Bondelontleding (BO), om die klassifikasiesisteem te ontwikkel. Die resultate van die tipologieë wat in hierdie studie ontwikkel is gee agt spesifieke groepe van boerderyhuishoudings. Hierdie groepe was beduidend verskillend van mekaar en elkeen se lewenbestaanstrategieë word uitgewys. Die hoofbevindings dui aan dat addisionele salarisinkomste ‘n belangrike rol speel in die vermoë van kleinskaalse boere om hul produkte te verkoop. Verder is dit opmerklik dat maatskaplike toelaes ‘n aansienlike rol gespeel het in die vorming van die groepe, spesifiek wat betref ouderdomspensioene en kindertoelae. Daar is ook ‘n spesifieke groep huishoudings in beide tipologieë wat probleme ondervind om voedselsekuriteit op huishoudelike vlak te handhaaf. Laastens wys die studie dat direkte landbou-ondersteuning teenoor kleinskaalse boere ‘n kenmerkende fokus op lewendehaweboerderye plaas wat sulke boerderye bevoordeel het om vir die mark te produseer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85627
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