Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development. South Africa Country Report

South Africa presents a context where agriculture and agricultural development fail to stimulate the local rural non-farm economy

Abstract

There is currently little evidence of a positive relationship between agriculture, agricultural development and employment or poverty outcomes in South Africa. On the contrary, the general trajectory of agricultural development is one likely to be accompanied by lower rates of employment. While input markets offer a dearth of opportunities for rural non-farm employment, there is cause for more optimism in relation to downstream output production networks, albeit with the caveats sounded in this research.

Quite apart from these issues about how to support the developmental potential of agriculture are the difficulties of the rural non-farm employment: its prospects are crucially shaped by larger spatial and structural/economic contexts, but in South Africa both are enmeshed in the larger problem of poverty and inequality. In its current form, agriculture is likely to continue to generate inequality and be constrained in its ability to contribute to the growth of the local rural non-farm economy. South Africa therefore presents a context where agriculture and agricultural development fail to stimulate the local rural non-farm economy.

There is a research report and a policy brief.

This research is part of the ‘Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development: Case Studies from Southern Africa’ project

Citation

David Neves and Cyriaque Hakizimana (2015) Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development. South Africa Country Report: University of the Western Cape. Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies. Research Report 47

David Neves and Cyriaque Hakizimana (2015) Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development. South Africa University of the Western Cape. Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies Policy Brief 38

Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development. South Africa Country Report

Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development. South Africa

Published 30 June 2015