Effect of market access on the modernisation of smallholder women agro-food enterprises in free state province, South Africa
The study's main objective was to develop an empirical model that could be used to ensure that market access interventions could positively influence the change of these enterprises. The quantitative data were collected using the survey method, while the qualitative data were collected using the focus group sessions. The results showed that market access is highly correlated (r = 0.482, p = 0.000) with business ownership and moderately correlated with management control. The results suggested that when business ownership, management control, and representative are included in the model with market access, market access has minor but positively significant (β=0.059, p = 0.05) role to influence the smallholder women's transformation agro-food enterprise. However, its effect on change is seen to the lowest compared to the confounding variables. These results imply that market access is not the highest priority in effecting this farming system's transformation, rather business ownership, representation, and management control. For the Free State province to modernize this farming system, it is recommended that the extension services should dwell more on ensuring that the women farmers have ownership of land, representation in the value chain, and the management of the corporates dealing with market access.