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Afrique du Sud 2003

Améliorer l'intérêt pour la production de cultures pluviales

Institut d'accueil: Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment of North West Province (NMDACE)

Autres partenaires/acteurs: Agricultural Research Council (ARC), Local Municipality (LM), Traditional Leaders (TL)

Thème: Dry land cropping, linking producers to markets, commercial farming

Lieu: Région Centrale de la Province du Nord Ouest en Afrique du Sud

Série de documents ICRA: No 111

Contexte: Deregulation and trade liberalisation, farmers’indebteness and land tenure systems, and the uncertainty of the rainfall are the most important driving forces dictating the future scenario of dry land crop production in the Central Region of North West Province. Urgently required are development strategies to improve the attractiveness of dry land crop production. This was the 3rd consecutive year ICRA collaborated with NMDACE.

Objectifs: To identify and prioritise R & D opportunities towards sustainable crop production in the identified farming systems of the study area in the context of the newly proposed IDP process and to determine with whom and how NWDACE could collaborate to improve the effect of joint research and development efforts towards sustainable crop production.

Résultats: Five areas of government intervention were identified to address the constraints faced by farmers in order to improve the attractiveness of dry land crop production: farmers’ capacity building; AKIS, exploration of certain research options, establishment of a machinery advisory service; and strengthening of women empowerment. For commercial farmers, strategies included: training on building awareness for unity among farmers; training on financial management; training on farming practices; and dissemination of information on marketing and partnerships with input suppliers. For smallholders, strategies include training on farming practices; training on adding value to agricultural produce; dissemination of information on land reform; and improvement of backyard farming.

Membres de l'équipe:

NomNationalitéInstitutDiscipline
Palmira BachtiarIndonésieIFADEconomie
Joyce HaleegoahGhanaCrops Research Institute (CRI)Sociologie Rurale
Suren KhudaverdyanArménieBusiness and education CentreAgro-engineering
Cai KunzhengChineSouth China Agric. UniversityAgro-économie
Mario Reinosos PerezCubaCentral University of Las VillasZootechnie
Vincent SerapelwaneAfrique du Sud NWDACEAgronomie

Evaluateur:Dr Driek Enserink (Pays-Bas), Chargé de recherche ICRA

Résumé This study covers the Mafikeng and Ditsobotla Districts in the Central Region of North West Province of South Africa. The central agricultural problem of the target area is the significant decrease in dry land crop production. Following the Agricultural Research for Development (ARD) procedure, the study embarks on the identification of: the causes of the decreasing crop production; the future of crop production; and the possible development strategies to improve the attractiveness of dry land crop production.

Changes in government policies, social constraints and environmental factors are the main causes contributing to the current lower yields per unit area (kg/ha) and the enormous increase in land that farmers let to lie fallow. Lower yields and more land lying fallow resulted in the decrease of the crop production. Government policies include farmer support through finance, fencing, mechanisation, and extension services. Other government policies deal with the deregulation and trade liberalisation (that led to high input cost and low output prices); and with the current land tenure system. Social constraints relate to the high incidence of theft and vandalism, the lack of unity among farmers, and the existence of a dependency syndrome. The main environmental factor is low and erratic rainfall.

The study recommends that the North West Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment (NWDACE, Central Region) should better target its development strategies. As far as dry land crop production is concerned, the department (having limited resources) should focus its efforts on the zone that has a higher potential for crop production. Within this zone the department should focus its efforts on the farm type of the “real” commercial farmers as they are still involved in dry land cropping and are able to run viable enterprises. If this is applied the commercial farm type in the Ditsobotla zone should be the main strategic target for the department’s development strategies for dry land crop production. This farm type in Ditsobotla will determine the future of commercialised crop production in the target zone.

The continuation of the deregulation and trade liberalisation, the future policies on agricultural finance, farmers’ indebtedness and land tenure systems, and the uncertainty of the rainfall are the most important driving forces dictating the future scenario of dry land crop production. Because these driving forces are predominantly influenced by external sources, farmers should have access to external information and have the capacity to integrate this information in order to make adequate decisions for their cropping enterprise. Hence, commercial farmers should be supported by efforts to improve the local Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) and to enhance their capacity. Under the AKIS and capacity building strategies, commercial farmers should receive training on building awareness for unity, financial management and farming practices, as well as analyses of information for marketing and weather forecasting. Such strategic training efforts will enable the targeted farmers to make proper decision in their cropping enterprise. For the implementation of these strategies, the Developmental Field Services (DFS) of Central Region should take a leading role. In collaboration with other relevant stakeholders, DFS should co-ordinate the joint development efforts to increase the attractiveness of dry land crop production.

Mots clés: South Africa, dry land cropping, markets, commercial farming, AKIS

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