Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorMeintjes, A
dc.contributor.authorSmit, Petrus Rasmus
dc.descriptionMBA, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, 2017en_US
dc.description.abstractSouth Africa has a successful, vibrant yet complex agricultural sector. The agricultural sector is dualistic in the sense of having commercial farming units along with subsistence farmers. In South Africa, agriculture has a very important part to play in the transformation, democratisation and economic growth of the country. Millions of people are engaged in subsistence farming on millions of hectares of land in the rural part of the country mostly situated in the former homeland areas. These resource-poor farmers struggle to produce sufficient food for their own household needs and in most cases rely on non-agricultural sources of income to meet their needs. It is essential that the subsistence and small-scale farmer sector develops and improves production in an effort to increase rural development, create jobs and stimulate the rural economy. Numerous development programs have been established over years with very little success. To be successful development programs should focus on the fundamental needs of farmers and ensure that the right beneficiaries are involved. This study was set out to determine the factors influencing the development of subsistence maize farmers as well as the ambition of these farmers to expand their operations and develop into more commercial farming units. A literature study on the background of agriculture and maize production in South Africa as well as subsistence farming and the factors influencing the production and development of subsistence farmers was conducted. After the literature study factors was identified that influence the production and development of these farmers. These factors were used to develop a questionnaire to conduct a quantitative study. The target population was subsistence maize farmers in the KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape provinces, engaged in maize farming to fulfil their household needs and is a part of the Grain SA farmer development program. The Grain SA farmer development structures were used to gather the data through convenience sampling. A total of 344 questionnaires were retained and used for data analysis. Descriptive statistical analysis was conducted to describe the sample used in the study. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify constructs as a method of data reduction. The questionnaire was tested and found to be reliable and valid. Effect sizes were used to determine the differences between genders and age groups. Through the results certain factors were identified that influenced the ability of the subsistence maize farmers to develop. These factors include: Poor access to resources such as land, finance and equipment, limited support from government and private agricultural companies as well as limited access to off-take markets and insufficient financial and agronomic skills. It was also found that overall the farmers have the ambition and the will to expand their farming operations as well as the commercial intent to produce maize on a more commercial level. Certain differences between genders and age groups were also identified. Based on the conclusions, recommendations were made for the individual farmer, government and organisations. The study was evaluated according to the achievement of the primary and the secondary objectives that was set out. The limitations of the study were discussed and suggestions were made for future research. Along with the appropriate support the ambition and will of subsistence farmers will assist them to develop to a desired level of food productionen_US
dc.publisherNorth-West University (South Africa) , Potchefstroom Campusen_US
dc.subjectSubsistence agricultureen_US
dc.subjectSubsistence agricultural developmenten_US
dc.subjectSubsistence maize farmersen_US
dc.subjectSmall farming unit developmenten_US
dc.subjectFarmer developmenten_US
dc.subjectCommercial farmingen_US
dc.titleFactors that influence the development of South African subsistence maize farmers into commercial farming unitsen_US

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • ETD@PUK [7579]
    This collection contains the original digitized versions of research conducted at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus)

Show simple item record