Level of participation of small-scale crop farmers in agro-processing in Gauteng province of South Africa
Agro-processing is becoming more popular and practiced by farmers to reduce post-harvest losses, add value to farm products and increase farm income. This paper presents the small-scale crop farmers’ level of participation in agro-processing in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Data were collected from 255 small-scale crop farmers selected by random sampling using a semi-structured questionnaire. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 23 of 2015) was used to analyse data. Descriptive statistics (in form of percentages) were used to analyse the background characteristics of the farmers, whereas the multinomial logit model was further used to show the level of participation amongst the small-scale crop farmers. With respect to agro-processing, results indicated that 47.1% of the small-scale crop farmers participated partly, 40.8% of them participated fully while 12.2% did not participate at all. Results of the multinomial analyses indicated that, educational level (p<0.05), size of the field (p<0.05), distance to the market (p<0.01), and access to credit (p<0.01) had positive significant influence on small-scale crop farmers’ choice to participate fully in agro-processing. Gender, regarding male participation (p< 0.05), and age of farmer (p<0.01) had significant influence on farmers’ choice to fully participate in agro-processing. Furthermore, the results of the multinomial analyses showed that size of the field (p<0.01) owned by the farmer and access to credit (p< 0.05) had positive influence on the farmers’ choice to participate partly in agro-processing whereas older farmers (p< 0.05), widows (p< 0.1) and farmers with more number of fields (p<0.01) were less likely to participate partly in agro-processing activities. These results have implications for the development of smallscale farmers venturing into agro-processing in the Gauteng province. Young females should be encouraged to join the agricultural sector as they are likely to participate in agro-processing activities which in turn results in improved income and food security at the household level. Furthermore, new agricultural education programmes should be encouraged in the area households as educated farmers are more likely to participate in the value addition activities of agro-processing.
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