Findings from our South Africa pilot study

The pilot study of the Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development project took place in South Africa, in the Weenen district of the Kwa-Zulu Natal midlands, in September 2012.

Limiting themselves to several focal household-enterprises, they examined the upstream and downstream in relation to a range of common field crops. They documented the synergies within a single household-enterprise, and followed the value chain, noting the inputs and mapping the sequence of production, distribution, wholesale and retail.

These networks were not only intertwined with various non-farm activities, but saw agricultural production supply local hawkers and more distant retailers.

Links were market driven, but also highly influenced by individual and familial histories, along with trading alliances and networks of ethnic and religious solidarity.

Sharing findings

On 14 February 2013 we shared the research concept with 30 regional policymakers and asked for input on ways to take the research forward. For a summary of the research findings discussed, read the blog post by David Neves: