Competitiveness of the CASP supported smallholder farming in Thabanchu Region Of Free-State Province in South Africa: a gender empowerment analysis
This study aims to compare the factors that could influence smallholder farm business competitiveness along the gender divide, with the objective to empower women who are involved in smallholder farming enterprises. A non-probability sample (utilising a judgemental sampling framework) was used, resulting in a non-representative sample size (n=183). The study used a convergent mixed method design (i.e. both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used simultaneously) where qualitative data was collected through a combination of literature reviews, interviews, questionnaires, and observations. On the other hand, quantitative data collection was done through a close-ended questionnaire which was administered face-to-face to the smallholder farm owners. The results revealed that women had benefited slightly less from CASP initiatives than their male counterparts had. Moreover, it was shown further that women were diligent in their farming activities. Their good services demonstrated this in their farming enterprises, coupled with the production of good quality farming products. The study concluded that there is a need to avoid bias against women when deciding on a strategic empowerment intervention such as CASP. It is thus recommended that women empowerment should be prioritised for agrarian transformation to be effective and sustainable.
Keywords: smallholder, competitiveness, CASP, gender, empowerment