Market access, poverty alleviation and socio-economic sustainability in South Africa

A. Obi, H.D. van Schalkwyk, A. van Tilburg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Markets continue to be seen as the means for ensuring that smallholder producers of agricultural products are effectively integrated into the mainstream of national economies, especially in developing countries. For one thing, markets provide the opportunity for farm production to contribute to poverty reduction through the cash income realised from sales of farm produce. In turn, markets drive production as farmers strive to meet the demands of consumers and end-users in terms of quantity and quality. But their very existence, or how effectively they function, cannot be guaranteed in many developing countries. In South Africa, there is a certain urgency to address the real concern that, in spite of considerable investments into restructuring the sector since 1994 and directly tackle agrarian and land reform, poverty is still rife and there is the clear indication that much of this arises from farmers not being able to sell produce at a profit. Unlocking markets for this group of farmers is therefore considered a crucial developmental necessity. Research conducted from 2004 in various parts of the country point to the importance of the market access to smallholders. The aim of this book is to attempt an aggregation of the findings from an investigation into the technical and institutional constraints to smallholders’ market access and how these affect other aspects of community life. Without a doubt, such concerns are not new and have formed part of theoretical and policy work focusing on the gains from trade for several centuries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnlocking markets to smallholders : Lessons from South Africa
EditorsHerman D. van Schalkwyk, Jan A. Groenewald, Gavin C.G. Fraser, Ajuruchulkwu Obi, Aad van Tilburg
Number of pages268
ISBN (Print)9789086861347
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameMansholt publication series
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers


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