Agriculture in land reform farms: Impact on livelihoods of beneficiaries in the Waterberg district, South Africa

Avhafunani J. Netshipale, Simon J. Oosting, Majela L. Mashiloane, C.G. Van Reenen, Imke J.M. De Boer, Edzisani N. Raidimi

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Countries have pursued land reform (LR) to contribute towards equity, poverty alleviation and job creation. Land confiscation and market-assisted approaches are used the most in expediting LR. The approach adopted in each of the countries will depend on the prevailing circumstances and priorities of those advocating for LR. South Africa implemented LR for the past two decades aimed to provide meaningful contribution to the livelihood of beneficiaries, among others. However, economic quantification of livelihood gains attained by households (hhs) from LR farms is unknown. The present paper aimed to quantify the economic contributions to livelihoods of various activities at LR farms, and to analyse factors underlying these contributions. We surveyed 87 hhs who were active in 43 LR farms in the Waterberg District, Limpopo Province. Five LR farm types were distinguished: Restitution (Rest), settlement/land acquisition grant (SLAG), land redistribution for agricultural development phases 1 and 2 (LRAD1 and LRAD2) and proactive land acquisition strategy (PLAS) farms. We used a stepwise approach for data collection, which included focus group discussions, household (hh) surveys and livelihood pie charts. On-farm contributions were higher (±49.5%) in LRAD1, LRAD2 and PLAS, compared to on-farm contributions of hhs in Rest and SLAG (±15.5%), because most of the hh heads (±68.3%) were younger (≤59 years), and hhs were physical capital endowed and farmed in physical capital endowed farms. Livestock farming was a key land use activity because of the prevailing agroecological conditions. The LR policy should prioritise provision of farm physical capital and livestock production to improve on-farm livelihood contributions in physical capital poor farms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104710
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

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