Challenging the Stereotypes: Small-scale black Farmers and Private Sector Support Programmes in South Africa A National scan

All farmers in South Africa face severe economic and other pressures, and even large-scale and well-resourced producers face significant challenges in meeting the demands of highly competitive global markets. At the same time, state policies do not appear to be effective: land reform is not informed by any coherent strategy for small farmer development, the policies and systems of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry continue to be biased towards large-scale commercial farming, and government extension programmes do not meet the needs of smaller-scale, black farmers. While ‘smallholders’ figure prominently in political rhetoric and policy documents, there is little clarity about how to support them in practice. A number of private sector stakeholders have launched a wide range of partnerships and projects in support of black farmers – some of them highly innovative, others of dubious merit. This project sought to undertake a national scan of these initiatives in order to gain a much broader overview.