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Abstract

This case study sought to investigate marketing arrangements of smallholder farmers at Goedverwacht in the West Coast district of the Western Cape. A Social Network Analysis framework was applied to identify the structure of relationships among social entities used by farmers and to evaluate the patterns and implications of these relationships with regards to these marketing arrangements. The networks within the community include the local cooperative, local tourism centre, local shops, the Moravian church, farmer�s association etc and outside the community they include hawkers, input suppliers, supermarkets etc. Results indicate that all of the smallholder farmers in Goedverwacht use mostly social networks within the community to sell their produce. Sale of produce through formal channels like supermarkets is limited due to such factors as lack of transport and low volumes. Nevertheless, the Goedverwacht community benefits from free access to water and government support through provision of farming equipment and seeds. The annual Snoek and Patat festival also serves as the market for the Goedverwacht community. It is thus realized that for farmers to fully exploit social networks, market readiness is important. Collective action must also be encouraged to strengthen farmers� bargaining power and market positions thereby sustaining market access. Key words: Social Network Analysis, smallholder farmer, market access, informal market,

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