Livelihood factors influencing market participation and supply volumes decisions among smallholder cattle farmers in the Okhahlamba Local Municipality, South Africa: Implications for agricultural extension programming

This article leverages on the application of the sustainable livelihood framework (SLF) to analyze quantitatively the broader livelihood factors confounding cattle market participation in the Okhahlamba Local Municipality (OLM) for the purpose of informing agricultural extension programmes in South Africa. It uses a dataset compiled from a household survey of 230 randomly selected cattle farm households from 12 dip-tank users associations (DUAs). Within the framework of household model, it uses a Double-Hurdle econometric estimation technique to calibrate the effects of factors in various components of the SLF on market participation and supply volumes decisions. On the basis of sample evidence, the study finds that cattle market participation by OLM smallholders is significantly hindered by inadequate access to agricultural extension and financial systems, limited productivity of local breed, as well as non-compliance with cattle registration regulations. It reveals further that the differences in livelihood strategies explain the observed rates of market participation among smallholder cattle farmers in the municipality, whereas price signals are taken into account only after positive market participation decisions have been made. Based on these results, the study outlines potential extension models required for the South African public extension architecture to promote innovation that addresses the complexity of revealed challenges. Generally, this bottom-up approach gauges the need for a pluralistic agricultural extension approach (mainly by the farmer extension groups model) for a pro-poor agricultural market development in South Africa.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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