Emerging from Below? Understanding the Livelihood Trajectories of Smallholder Livestock Farmers in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Gwiriri, L., Bennet, J., Mapiye, C. and Burbi, S. 2021. Emerging from Below? Understanding the Livelihood Trajectories of Smallholder Livestock Farmers in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Land. 10 (article), p. 226. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020226

AuthorsGwiriri, L., Bennet, J., Mapiye, C. and Burbi, S.
Abstract

In the context of current agrarian reform efforts in South Africa, this paper analyses the livelihood trajectories of ‘emergent’ farmers in Eastern Cape Province. We apply a rural livelihoods framework to 60 emergent cattle farmers to understand the different capitals they have drawn upon in transitioning to their current class positions and associated vulnerability. The analysis shows that, for the majority of farmers, no real ‘transition’ from subsistence farming has occurred. However, they draw limited resilience from increased livestock holdings, continued reliance on social grants and connections with communal villages. A transition into small‐scale commercial farming is apparent for a small number of farmers through the deployment of financial, human and social capitals. However, in following these trajectories, most of these farmers have been made more vulnerable to shocks and stresses than previously. We suggest that key to mitigating this vulnerability will be access to low‐risk financial capital, more targeted support, and strategies to support farmers that might not transition from subsistence production.

KeywordsLivelihood strategies; Agrarian reform policy; Livelihood capitals; Resilience; Vulnerability
Year of Publication2021
JournalLand
Journal citation10 (article), p. 226
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020226
Web address (URL)https:// doi.org/10.3390/land10020226
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online23 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted19 Feb 2021
PublisherMDPI

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