Institutional Constraints to Small Farmer Development in Southern Africa

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Ajuruchukwu Obi
Wageningen Academic Pub, 2011 - Social Science - 352 pages
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The Southern Africa region has experienced more than its fair share of problems in recent years. Just when it seemed that the hardships wrought by the devastating cycle of droughts and floods of 2000 to 2002 were a thing of the past, other problems emerged. At one level, there have been the weak and often erratic governance mechanisms and political crises in some countries of the region, leading to severe disruptions in agricultural production to the point that supplies and markets have virtually disappeared. At another level, socio-cultural rigidities have often militated against the adoption of efficient farming practices, resulting in sub-optimal choices that lock smallholders into a low equilibrium trap. In the face of the disappearing supplies and missing markets, these have engendered hyper-inflationary trends of a magnitude unknown anywhere else in the world. But in the midst of all this apparent dreariness, cases are emerging from which immense lessons can be drawn. This book assembles a collection of research papers based on studies completed in 2008 and 2009 in Southern Africa that examine various dimensions of the institutional constraints small farmers are facing in the region and how they are going about dealing with them. The papers draw from these diverse and polar experiences and present some theoretical and practical insights that should form the basis for more in-depth, country-level, sector-specific analyses, focusing mainly on citrus, horticultures, cotton and livestock. The thematic issues of income inequality, land reform, natural resource management and value chain governance and chain choice, are covered in this book and are expected to be of interest for a wide constituency, including researchers, development practitioners, rural animators, and policy makers.

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Abbreviations and acronyms
Exchange rates for programme countries
Part I Background and issues on the role of institutions in smallholder development in Southern Afri
Part II Rural livelihood strategies and current circumstances of the small farmer in South Africa
Part III Socioeconomic and commodity marketing factors among small farmers in South Africa
Part IV Marketing constraints and opportunities in specific commodity lines
Part V Institutional issues in natural resource management and implications for smallholder developm
Part VI Alternative trade and support arrangements to enhance livelihoods and welfare of small farme
Appendix The methodologies of the studies
About the contributors
Keyword index

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