Agricultural Value Chains in South Africa and the Implications for Employment-intensive Land Reform

The report examines small-scale farmers and their participation in agricultural value chains, in order to consider how to strengthen and upscale their participation in such value chains. The highly dualistic nature of the agricultural sector in South African is generally well understood. South African agriculture has long been dominated by large scale, capital intensive forms of industrial production, whereas small-scale farmers have been marginal for well over half a century. The objective of this report is to examine agricultural value chains, including ‘informal’ value chains within South Africa, in order to understand and support employment intensive employment, particularly in relation to rural land reform. The report draws on analysis of the scholarly and policy literature, to examine the participation of small-scale farmers in agricultural value chains. It assesses this participation in relation to post-apartheid public policy (primarily land reform and agricultural policy), and prospectively considers the implications for future policy.