Strategies to improve smallholders' market access

A. van Tilburg, H.D. van Schalkwyk

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


Smallholders, especially in less developed countries, have encountered several challenges in gaining access to markets. Market access includes the ability to obtain necessary farm inputs and farm services, and the ability to deliver farm products to buyers. Market access was less of a problem in the era of the marketing boards, roughly from 1940 to 1990, when a parastatal organisation – the marketing board – tended to provide essential farm inputs such as seed, fertilisers and ploughing services, farm services such as extension and credit, and output market services such as collection of the harvest, quality assessment and buying. Marketing boards tended to issue pan-seasonal and/or pan-territorial product prices and purchased from farmers and traders at several central locations. The consequence of this approach was that the decisions made by producers, processors, transporters, traders and consumers were not fully guided by free market principles and prices as indirect subsidies were involved. Marketing boards were dissolved in the ‘eighties’ and ‘nineties’ in the majority of developing countries because their activities, as a rule, appeared not to be economically sustainable and consequently a heavy burden on the national government’s budget. Consequently, smallholders were suddenly deprived of a supportive institutional marketing structure. This was also the case in South Africa with the repeal of the Marketing Act of 1968 and the implementation of the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act of 1996 (e.g. Van Schalkwyk et al., 2003).
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
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameMansholt publication series
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers


Dive into the research topics of 'Strategies to improve smallholders' market access'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this