Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Diversity of the rural farming households and policy issues: an analysis based on a case study in the Northern Cape Province in South Africa

Anseeuw, Ward and Laurent, Catherine and Modiselle, Salome and Carsten, Johan and van der Poll, Sakkie (2001): Diversity of the rural farming households and policy issues: an analysis based on a case study in the Northern Cape Province in South Africa.

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Abstract

The transition from apartheid to integrated development is a contradictory process characterised by negotiations between an intervention and a market-driven liberal approach. Regarding agriculture, it was expected that a highly efficient and economically viable market-directed farming sector should enable the development of "small scale black commercial farms". Some economic interventions were also planned to support the development of these farms. But both design and implementation of such interventions are problematic as rural farming households are very diverse and as the role of agriculture is more important and more complex than its sole contribution to income generation. However, on the basis of a research carried out in a former reserve in the Northern Cape Province (Leliefontein), it is shown how this diversity can be analysed and formalised. In particular, it is possible to model the diversity of rural households into typologies and to understand the strategies of each type of households with regards to its objectives concerning agricultural activities. An accurate knowledge of the diversity of farm situations may help discuss the consequences of alternative agricultural policy measures for households in different social situations.

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