Factors limiting and preventing emerging farmers to progress to commercial agricultural farming in the King William’s town area of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
The aim of the study was to investigate the main limiting factors that prevent emerging farmers from progressing from subsistence to commercial agricultural farming in the Eastern Cape Province. The study was conducted in the King William’s Town area by means of a structured questionnaire survey. A sample of 50 households was drawn from the research area which was chosen owing to its uniqueness with regard to agricultural potential. A descriptive analysis technique was employed to investigate the main limiting factors faced by farming households in migrating towards commercial agricultural markets. The findings demonstrated that the specific limiting factors emerging farmers face are poor physical infrastructure such as poor roads, lack of transportation to the markets from the farms, lack of marketing skills and information, poor market infrastructure, and high transaction costs, insufficient land availability to expand production, lack of agricultural implements to better production, poor production and farm management skills, as well as low education levels which results in an inability to interpret market information to be used in production planning and marketing. The results from the study highlighted that the government has a crucial role to play in increasing market participation of emerging farmers through encouraging group marketing, upgrading of roads to enable smooth accessibility of farmers to output markets and the establishment of local point sales in farming rural areas. Finally the study recommended that government provides planned workshops to all farmers in order to equip them with marketing knowledge.
Keywords: Emerging farmer; Constraints; Eastern Cape Province.