The impact of succession planning on the sustainability of cane production by small-scale cane growers in the north coast of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
This paper forms part of a research study for a PhD, which has been conducted in the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal and focuses on the sustainability of emerging cane growers. The research problem of the study was that cane growers cannot be sustained beyond the current generation of existing farmers because young people are not interested. Agriculture takes place in rural areas which are characterised by high levels of poverty. Cane farming, like other agricultural production activities, is the major economic driver in these areas. However, the current cane growers are ageing and the economy will be negatively impacted unless the youth succeed their parents as farmers. Sustainability of cane production depends on the preparedness of the offspring of the cane growers to succeed them as farmers.
The results of the study revealed two responses. The first response suggested that young people whose parents are cane growers are willing to succeed their parents and become cane growers. The second response suggested that where discussions on succession planning have taken place there was an increase in the number of young people indicating an interest in succeeding their parents. The paper concludes with a recommendation that there is a need for developing succession planning in the North Coast farming area.
KEY WORDS: Cane grower, cane farmer, sustainability, succession planning, youth, extension implications.