South African agriculture has undergone substantial structural transformations especially after the establishment of the Union Government in 1910, the promulgation of the Natives Land Act of 1913 and subsequent legislation meant to benefit white commercial farming at the expense of their black counterparts. Prior to the above processes, black farmers had access to land and possessed the necessary farming skills that positioned them to outperform their white counterparts in supplying food to the emerging urban market. However, with the passing of the 1913 Natives Land Act that prohibited black tenant-farming and black people from owning land (and thus congesting them into 13% of marginal land) substantial productive skills were lost. The unprecedented financial and human development support directed at white farmers lead to the emergence of a highly productive commercial farming sector and a cadre of farmers that could compete with the best in the world. In contrast, black small-scale subsistence farmers were forced to farm in climate risk raved marginal areas and their farming skills that passed from generation to generation declined. In an attempt to reverse the plight of the smallholder farmer, the new democratic government, which came to power in 1994, initiated an enabling policy and institutional environment that could effectively contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. The report will assess the impact of the resultant policy environment and institutional arrangement on smallholder crop production and post-harvest management (PHM), especially with a focus on mitigating the impact of climate change risks.
South Africa FANRPAN Policy Brief