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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle

Barriers Affecting Sustainable Agricultural Productivity of Smallholder Farmers in the Eastern Free State of South Africa

1
Agricultural Research Council—Institute for Soil, Climate and Water, Private Bag X79, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2
Risks and Vulnerability Assessment Centre, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
3
Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Private Bag X01, Glen, Bloemfontein 9360, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3003; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113003
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 28 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Diversity)
Sustainable Agricultural Practices (SAPs) are the most promising pathways to enhance the productivity and resilience of agricultural production of smallholder farming systems while conserving the natural resources. This study was undertaken to identify the barriers affecting sustainable agricultural productivity of smallholder farmers in the eastern Free State, South Africa. Data were collected from 359 smallholder farmers using questionnaires and the validity of the collected data was confirmed through focus group discussions with key informants. Descriptive statistics and a binary logistic regression model were used to analyze data. Results indicated that traditional SAPs such as intercropping, mulching and crop rotation were more likely to be adopted by farmers with access to land yet without access to credit (and had low levels of education, although this finding was not significant). In contrast, new SAPs such as cover cropping, minimum-tillage, tied ridging and planting pits were more knowledge (education), capital and labor intensive. Therefore, extension strategies should take these differences into consideration when promoting both the adoption of traditional SAPs and new SAPs. Targeting resource-constrained farmers (in terms of access to credit and education) through raising awareness and building capacity is essential to ensure the adoption of traditional SAPs. In turn, promoting the adoption of new SAPs not only needs awareness raising and capacity building but also must fundamentally address resource constraints of South African smallholder farmers such as knowledge, capital and labor. It is recommended that government should provide resources and infrastructure to improve the quality and outreach of extension services through field demonstration trials and training. View Full-Text
Keywords: adoption; extension services; intensification; smallholder farming; sustainability; rainfed cropping adoption; extension services; intensification; smallholder farming; sustainability; rainfed cropping
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MDPI and ACS Style

Myeni, L.; Moeletsi, M.; Thavhana, M.; Randela, M.; Mokoena, L. Barriers Affecting Sustainable Agricultural Productivity of Smallholder Farmers in the Eastern Free State of South Africa. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3003. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113003

AMA Style

Myeni L, Moeletsi M, Thavhana M, Randela M, Mokoena L. Barriers Affecting Sustainable Agricultural Productivity of Smallholder Farmers in the Eastern Free State of South Africa. Sustainability. 2019; 11(11):3003. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113003

Chicago/Turabian Style

Myeni, Lindumusa; Moeletsi, Mokhele; Thavhana, Mulalo; Randela, Mulalo; Mokoena, Lebohang. 2019. "Barriers Affecting Sustainable Agricultural Productivity of Smallholder Farmers in the Eastern Free State of South Africa" Sustainability 11, no. 11: 3003. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113003

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