The impact of economic policies and instruments on conservation agriculture in South Africa

Mudavanhu, Shepherd (2015-12)

Thesis (MScAgric)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In South Africa, sustainable land use and management is paramount as the country’s agricultural natural resources are diverse, complex and vulnerable to degradation. To realise sustainable agricultural production and development, an agro-ecosystem-specific approach entailing soil, water and nutrient conservation agricultural practices is imperative. Conservation Agriculture is one of the agricultural production method that can be employed to ameliorate and prevent the degradation of South Africa’s agricultural land. The major aim of this study was to investigate how the uptake and adoption of conservation agriculture is influenced by economic policies and instruments in South Africa. To achieve this, an interactive research approach was followed initially involving an extensive literature review before scientific and empirical analysis was conducted. Firstly it was noted in the study that currently there is not any specific policy for conservation agriculture that has been promulgated in South Africa, but however there are a number of policies (i.e. Climate change policy, Carbon Tax policy, Land Reform policy, Trade policy, Water policy, Food and nutritional security policy, NEMBA regulations, CRDP, CARA, Organic production policy, Policy on Agriculture in sustainable development and the Environmental policy) that have been drafted which have the potential to positively influence the uptake and adoption of conservation agriculture by farmers across all the farming typologies (i.e. small scale, emerging and commercial farmers). The afore-mentioned policies were described and analysed with the purpose of establishing how they affect conservation agriculture using analysis criteria adopted from the field of political sciences. Criteria of effectiveness, unintended effects, equity, cost, feasibility and acceptability were constantly employed. In this regard, all the policies were tested to see how they affect conservation agriculture and to check if there was any alignment and harmonisation within the policy environment. It was found in this study that an alignment of the aforementioned policies is imperative in order to make the policies politically and administratively feasible which will lead to the swift implementation and effectiveness of the policies in meeting their core objectives. On this basis, it was deduced that the aforementioned policy mix has the potential to advance the uptake and adoption of conservation agriculture to further contribute to an enhanced food security and a sustainable resource base in South Africa. The policy mix analysed in this study, is however under specific constraints. These were identified and subsequently recommendations were made to ameliorate these constraints, in order to make the policies align with each other and to maximise the contribution of the policies towards the advancement of conservation agriculture in South Africa.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Volhoubare grondgebruik en bestuur is belangrik in Suid-Afrika as gevolg van diverse, komplekse en kwesbare natuurlike hulpbronne wat maklik degradeer. As gevolg hiervan moet volhoubare bewaringspraktyke gevolg word wat spesifiek is tot die grond, water en voedingswaarde kompleks van verskillende boerdery-omgewings gevolg word. In hierdie opsig is bewaringsboerdery een metode wat ontplooi kan word om grond-degradasie te voorkom. Die hoofdoel van hierdie studie was dus om te bepaal tot watter mate die aanvaarding van bewaringsboerdery praktyke deur ekonomiese beleid en -instrumente beïnvloed word. Hiervoor is ʼn interaktiewe benadering gevolg tussen ʼn uitgebreide literatuurstudie en ʼn wetenskaplike en empiriese analise. Die eerste belangrike bevinding is dat daar tans geen formele staatsbeleid oor bewaringsboerdery in Suid-Afrika bestaan nie, maar daar is wel verwante beleidsuitsprake (oor klimaatsverandering, die koolstof belasting, grondhervorming, internasionale handel, voedselen voedingsbeleid, NEMBA regulasies, CRDP, CARA, beleid oor organiese produksie, beleid oor volhoubare landbou-ontwikkeling en omgewingsbeleid) wat wel die aanvaarding van bewaringsboerdery praktyke kan versnel. Hierdie stel van beleidsuitsprake is beskryf en ontleed deur middel van ʼn analitiese raamwerk ontleen aan die politieke wetenskappe om hulle potensiële impak op bewaringsboerdery. Die spesifieke kriteria waarop gekonsentreer is sluit in doeltreffendheid, ongewensde gevolge, regverdigheid, koste, implementeerbaarheid en aanvaarbaarheid. Die doel van laasgenoemde was nie slegs om vas te stel hoe hulle bewaringsboerdery beïnvloed nie, maar ook of daar belyning bestaan tussen die verskillende beleidsuitsprake, omdat sulke belyning krities is tot suksesvolle implementering. Daar is dan bevind dat die huidige stel beleidsuitsprake wel die potensiaal het om by te dra tot die aanvaarding van bewaringsboerdery, en dus tot die volhoubare bestuur van Suid-Afrika se hulpbronne. Hierdie bestaande beleidsraamwerk word egter onderwerp aan spesifieke beperkings. Laasgenoemde is dan geïdentifiseer, en is aanbevelings gemaak om dié beperkings aan te spreek om sodoende beter belyning te kry en dus om hulle bydrae tot volhoubare boerdery te bevorder.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97915
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