Designing successful land reform for the extensive grazing sector
The purpose of this paper is to identify the determinants of success in commercial sheep farming in the Karoo so that these characteristics can be designed into smallholder commercialisation programmes there and in the former homelands of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Benchmarking applied to production data from commercial operations revealed that every fifth commercial farmer is less than 50% efficient, and therefore is as much in need of extension as any smallholder might be. Experience is an important determinant of performance and could be developed in the smallholder sector through vocational training at the point of commercialisation. Sheep farming is amenable to smallholder production because it can be done successfully on a part-time basis. Woolled sheep are important. Being able to respond flexibly to rainfall variability is essential, but there are several ways to achieve this cost effectively in the smallholder sector.
Keywords: Benchmarks, Extension plans, Extensive grazing areas, Sheep farming