The Role of Market Agents in Linking Black Commercial Farmers to Fresh Produce Markets in South Africa

This study is assessing the requirements and necessary conditions that will enable black commercial farmers to access reliable and sustainable markets. It take cognisance of the amount of fresh produce sourced from black commercial farmers by the fresh produce markets in the country. It considers market agents in the fresh produce markets as strategically important to enhancing the growth and success of black commercial farmers. The market agents will enable the black commercial farmers to enter the fresh produce supply chain through the National Fresh Produce Markets in South Africa. In unveiling these possibilities, the study undertakes a situational analysis to determine the enabling and necessary conditions for market agents in the market. It also identifies the characteristics of fresh produce which are necessary to qualify black commercial farmers’ fresh produce for marketing at the NFPMs in South Africa. It determines the conditions that market agents will require from black commercial farmers while maintaining their competitiveness. Methods used include situational analysis, descriptive statistics, ordinal logistic regression model and services supply chain analysis. Primary data was obtained through questionnaires and interviews with market agents and representatives of retail outlets; and secondary information was obtained through desktop review of literature. The findings of this research show the factors required for the success of a BEE fresh produce supply chain and a market agency in the NFPM. They state that the BEE fresh produce supply chain is equally capable of surviving in the prevailing macro- and micro-economic environment of the country. The results also state that black commercial farmers should ensure acceptable quality and quantity of fresh produce, in addition to meeting the requirements of the BEE market agency. The requirements for market agents included the need for farmers to supply consistent quantity and quality of fresh produce, use appropriate transport, and should be punctual and reliable. Black commercial farmers who supply fresh produce should take cognisance of these requirements for the competitiveness of market agents and adapt their way of doing business accordingly. The necessary conditions for the BEE fresh produce supply chain ensures an enabling environment in spite of the uncertainties and likelihood of risks, if managed accordingly. To ensure this, the BEE agency needs to manage and coordinate the sourcing and pooling of produce in a pack-house, which is strategically essential for the overall success of the chain. The success of the BEE fresh produce supply chain will mean the success of a BEE agency, on the condition that unforeseen inhibiting factors beyond the scope of this research are held constant.

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Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement of a degree in M.Sc. Agric. (Agricultural Economics) in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences University of Pretoria, South Africa. Advisor: Professor Andre Louw.

 Record created 2017-12-06, last modified 2018-01-23

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