Value chain-induced constraints limiting scale of conservation agriculture in South Africa

Von Loeper, Wolfgang Johann ; Drimie, Scott ; Blignaut, James (2019)

CITATION: Von Loeper, W. J., Drimie, S. & Blignaut, J. 2019. Value chain-induced constraints limiting scale of conservation agriculture in South Africa. In. Kulshreshtha, S. N. (ed.) Agricultural economics - current issues. IntechOpen, doi:10.5772/intechopen.84499.

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Publication of this chapter was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

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The potential of scaling conservation agriculture (CA), for long-term food security, remains under-investigated within the context of agricultural food value chains in South Africa. To scale the use of CA an understanding of the current agricultural value chains, their functioning, regulatory framework and constraints, is essential and this raises a key question: What are the main shortfalls and deterrents in agricultural value chains and why might CA be faced with challenges to feed into these existing structures, through which it could, the hopes are, create a more inclusive and sustainable farming system for long-term food security? The empirical data from an ethnographic qualitative participant research showed that interviewed value chain participants (VCP) are limited in acting on account of their economic constraints. None of them had products that supported CA, while financial institutions argued that such products would not be necessary, as any risk mitigating farming system would, in any event, result in financial benefits to the farmer.

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