Proceedings

PR – Linking Rural Economies With Markets – An Institutional Approach

For many developing countries, the agricultural sector is still the main employer, especially for women, and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The causes of poverty are complex and often superficially understood. As a result, efforts to resolve these problems are frequently fragmented and development interventions become severely limited in focus and reach. The development of the agricultural sector can ensure integration of the region’s economies and the resultant upliftment of rural communities. Market access seems to be one of the most limiting factors which have been identified that is hindering growth in rural agriculture. Factors influencing market access are lack of information, training and extension services, tenure systems, transport and credit. Resolving the South African problem requires a concerted, holistic, innovative and integrated approach through partnerships between the civic, public and private sectors. The market access problem should be addressed based on linkages between the small producers and markets by addressing the constraints. The fact is recognise that small farmers do not exist in isolation but is part of a large market system. Interventions are therefore well grounded in understanding the business development service markets within which small producers operate, as well as enhancing win-win linkages between rural-based service providers and small producers.

Keywords: Market access, rural farmers, institutions.

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Author(s): Fourie, P., Kotze, N.A., Van Schalkwyk, H.D.

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Organizations(s): Department of Agricultural Economics, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein