Factors affecting sustainability of agricultural projects on poverty alleviation in Gauteng Province, South Africa
Mokgadi, Justine Fikile
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Agriculture has been identified by the government of South Africa to play pivotal role in socio-economic emancipation of rural people and those living in common-ages. The government has made commitment to provide agricultural support services in order to increase and promote black entrepreneurs by 5% per annum. Given the socio-economic profile of the South African population and the acknowledgement of the importance of agrarian development in other countries, South Africa started its land reform after democratic government in 1994. Prior 1994, agrarian reform was based on the fact that very few black producers were actively involved in commercial farming. Attempts to correct this disparity through agrarian reform have led to several challenges such as distribution of land without balancing it with capacity-building programmes and have proven to be unsustainable and costly. Major causes of poor performance of farming based on Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises is lack of capacity in many aspects of running farming as a business and farmers are usually smallholders, producing crops in mixed inter-cropping, which result in persistent and continuous poor yield in a&' cultural production leading to poor financial returns and increase in pover1y level. Sustainability of agricultural projects are affected by the fact the at smallholder farmers do not have acquired knowledge and required skills needed for good management and proper daily operations of the project at technical level and lack of support ·om the community in buying local products Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GOARD) invested its efforts on poverty alleviation projects on smallholder farmers who have demonstrated their potentials tor agricultural activities and have experienced benefits in the form of government programmes such as CASP (Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme), Agro-Processing Infrastructure, and Letsema among others. The study has identified the constraints that smallholder farmers face in their agricultural activities and made recommendations to policy makers that will assist smallholder farmers based on their level of participation in the agricultural sector which will assist in creating comprehensive, sustainable and appropriate capacity building models and strategies for agribusiness in order to contribute significantly to the eradication of poverty, reduction of unemployment through agriculture and creation of sustainable and market driven agribusiness in Gauteng Province, South Africa. There are six hundred and thirty five agricultural projects in Gauteng Province that are practicing intensive and extensive agriculture for vegetable production and supply the formal and informal markets with their produce. However, during the sample survey, only 160 projects were selected tor the survey to identify factors affecting sustainability of agricultural projects on poverty alleviation. The farmers that participated are located in City of Tshwane (20 farmers). West Rand District (60 farmers). Ekurhuleni District Municipality (25 farmers). Sedibeng (15 farmers) and City of Johannesburg (40 farmers). Data collected was subjected to analysis using SPSS and the regression analysis was used to determine factors affecting sustainability of agricultural projects tor poverty alleviation in Gauteng Province, South Africa. The results show that 40% (the majority) of the sampled farmers were between the age of 50-59 years, while 18% of these farmers never attended school. The results of the study revealed that 65.6% of farmers had a household size of between 4-6 people and generated farm income was less than R200 000 per annum. The linear regression technique reveals a significant determinants of sustainability of agricultural projects for poverty alleviation are attitude (t=-2.71 ): impact (t=5.86): farmer participation (t=2.82). educational level (t=2.16): farming experience (t=-2.84.): farming income (t=2.28): land tenure system (t=-2.58): and land acquisition method (t=-3.98).