Factors Explaining Land Access and Utilization for Agricultural Activities among Households in South Africa

Land and water are strategic to agricultural production. Issue of land distribution in South Africa is contentious due to past racial apartheid policy that favored white farmers against the black. To address this, land expropriation without compensation is recently being proposed by policy makers. In order not to go the way of Zimbabwe, South Africa needs empirical evidence on land utilization for agriculture and the drivers of such use. This study therefore investigated household access to and utilization of land for agricultural activities in South Africa using nationally representative South African Living Condition Survey data. The study adopted a bivariate probit regression model to analyze determinants of land access and land utilization. Results reveal that household head age, participation in home garden, income and engagement in own production explains land access and utilization among other variables. The older the household head the greater the probability of access to land whereas older household head are less likely to utilize land. Interestingly, wealthier household have lesser probability of land access. Based on these findings, it was recommended that revision of land reform policy, poverty alleviation, and land utilization awareness creation would enhance productive use of agricultural land in South Africa. Acknowledgement : The author sincerely acknowledges the financial support of the Govan Mbeki Research and Development Centre (GMRDC) towards his postdoctoral fellowship at the Dept. of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Fort Hare, South Africa, where this study was carried out between June 2017-January 2018. The views in this paper are the author s own and do not necessarily represent those of the GMRDC and University of Fort Hare. The permission granted by Statistics South Africa to use the data set for this study is also gratefully acknowledged.

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JEL Codes:
Q51; Q57

 Record created 2018-10-02, last modified 2020-10-28

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