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Land Reform in the South African sugar industry: The Quest for Reconstruction, Development and Equity

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Agricultural Economics, Education and Extension, Botswana College of Agriculture, Botswana

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 5, Issue (3), Pages 9-18, March,14 (2016)


Land reform in South Africa (SA) is a broad policy initiative which is implemented under the auspices of the Reconstruction Development Program (RDP) in South Africa. In pursuit of equity, inclusive growth and economic development, the ANC government has to date, through the land redistribution program enabled some PDIs to own land and engage in mainstream commercial agriculture. The introduction of black farmers into the SA sugar industry has reshaped entry paths into the industry. Integration of new entrant farmers into the sugar industry has also lead to increased demand for extension and other post-settlement services. This paper (i) highlights the benefits of land reform in SA, (ii) reports on the respondents’ demographics and entry paths into the SA sugar industry in KZN by the emerging black growers and (iii) suggest some policy implications. The surveyed NFGs were mostly male and relatively old and, had no educational background in either agriculture or/any business related field. Relatively few surveyed growers had prior experience in managing sugarcane farms, hence the majority were in the rare entry path. Growers identified mentorship and extension as important sources of skills for agronomic or technical aspects of sugarcane production. Consequently, mentorship should not be used to replace extension, but should rather complement it. Policy makers therefore, need to craft and implement post-settlement support services customized to meet the needs of growers from diverse backgrounds. Further, there is need to do detailed grower needs analysis and profile them according to their backgrounds, training and development needs in order to optimize the intended benefits of support services and land reform sustainability.


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