Constraints to smallholder agricultural production in the Western Cape, South Africa

Publication date: Available online 29 May 2018Source: Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/CAuthor(s): Bongani NcubeAbstractImproving agricultural production remains a major challenge for smallholder farmers in South Africa. The enactment of the 1998 Water Act and subsequent water allocation reforms were meant to correct equity challenges of the past in water allocation and increase agricultural productivity in the rural sector. More than 20 years after the initiation of the processes smallholder farmers remain poor with limited agricultural productivity. With the advent of more frequent droughts and the ever increasing climate change threat, the need to find lasting solutions for smallholder agriculture remains a priority for the government. So far the emphasis has been placed on water allocation, but could this be the only challenge to smallholder farmer livelihoods? South Africa is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in history. Smallholder farmers who are already faced with water shortages have been the worst hit. The research sought to untangle some of the complexities of improving smallholder farmer livelihoods in the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Area (BGCMA) in the Western Cape, one of the first two catchment management areas to be created in South Africa. The main aim of the study was to assess constraints in addition to water, to the success of smallholder farmers in improving livelihoods. The specific objectives were to determine how ins...
Source: Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts ABC - Category: Science Source Type: research

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