Project

The potential of livestock production to improve the livelihoods of beneficiaries on land reform farms in Limpopo Province of South Africa

PhD project by Avhafunani Netshipale. In the past 250 years, many countries have attempted to do land reform (both ownership and access), informed by inequalities that existed in its distribution. In South Africa, there is a lack of meaningful contribution from the current land reform programme to the livelihoods of rural communities. This PhD study aims to contribute to improving livelihoods of rural communities through sustainable livestock production in land reform farms.

For decades, agriculture was a main source of employment, and contributed to people’s livelihoods and economic development in rural areas of South Africa. The constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which forms the basis of the democratic nation, declares the nation’s commitment to reforms (land reform being one part of them). These reforms are intended to realize equitable access to the nation’s natural resources for all citizens.  For 2014, a land reform programme target of 30% had been set, implying a transfer of land owned by the rich minority (which held 87% of the agricultural land in 1994) to the resource poor majority. About nine per cent of this target had been realized to date, even though the transferred land had been unable to make meaningful contributing to the livelihoods of those who benefited. Challenges associated with multi-objective land reform programme and the complexity of striving to align the programme to the needs and aspirations of the beneficiaries are overwhelming. There is lack of workable models through which land reform can make meaningful contribution. The agro-ecological conditions in most of these farms give an indication that livestock production could be the main contributor to livelihoods creation. The study, therefore, aims to contribute to improving livelihoods of rural communities through sustainable livestock production in land reform farms.


Research objectives

  1. To describe the diversity of land reform in Waterberg District of Limpopo Province
  2. To analyze the livelihood strategies of land reform beneficiaries and quantify on farm contribution of agricultural activities to those strategies
  3. To characterise existing farming systems and determine the significance of livestock in those systems
  4. To analyze constraints associated with farming systems in which livestock is involved
  5. To develop options, evaluate their sustainability and establish or activate innovation platforms