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The present contribution of small scale agriculture to rural livelihood in north-west Peddiedistrict and the four factors identified by Lipton (1996) as being essential for small scalefarming to flourish, were analysed by making use of data obtained in two recent studiesconducted in the area. The two studies, which both used a questionnaire survey for datacollection, enabled a comparison between dryland and irrigated agriculture. The analysisshowed that agriculture adds to rural livelihood in a modest way only, and hardly everconstituted the main source of household income. For the majority of households in both thedryland and irrigated production environments the main source of income consisted of Statetransfers of which pensions were the most important. In the area, three of the four factorsidentified by Lipton (1996), namely access to agricultural land, research and development ofappropriate technology, and rural infrastructure were found to require reform for local smallscale farming to become a viable livelihood option. The only factor which did not appear topresent a major constraint was access to markets. Relative to the present level of production, themarket in the rural area itself is sufficiently large to absorb most produce, usually at priceshigher than those offered by formal markets. In future, access to markets could become aconstraint if production by small scale farmers were to be increased significantly.

Subject(s): Community/Rural/Urban Development

Issue Date: 1997-12

Publication Type: Journal Article

PURL Identifier: Published in: Agrekon, Volume 36, Issue 4 Page range: 616-625

Total Pages: 10

Record appears in: Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA) > Agrekon

Autor: Monde-Gweleta, N.N. ; van Averbeke, W. ; Ainslie, A. ; Ntshona, Z.M. ; Fraser, Gavin C.G. ; Belete, Abenet


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