No escape from subsistence farming
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CTA. 2002. No escape from subsistence farming. Rural Radio Resource Pack 02/5. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/57263
A small-scale farmer in South Africa describes the impact that economic liberalisation has had on his profitability, and calls on the government to assist farmers, otherwise they will never be able to move beyond subsistence farming.
No escape from subsistence farming Cue: The subject of market liberalisation, and the impact it is having on our domestic producers, is one that is often addressed by politicians and economists. It?s probably less common for us to hear from the farmers themselves. Our next report offers a quick snapshot of one farmer?s view on liberalisation, and the effect it is having on his farming and on his livelihood. It?s a view that will certainly be shared by many farmers right across the continent. The report comes from South Africa; asking the questions is Lesibana Mantshiu. IN: ?Mr. Rudolph Letsoalo is a ? OUT: ?local markets nor internationally.? DUR?N 2?15? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Mr. Rudolph Letsoalo expressing a view that may well be shared by millions of small-scale farmers across Africa. Transcript Mantshiu Mr. Rudolph Letsoalo is a small-scale farmer in the Limpopo province in South Africa. Rudolph, what is the impact of liberalisation on you as a small-scale farmer and your family? Letsoalo The impact of liberalisation, particularly to us, the small-scale farmers, and to our families, it is full of disadvantages. It disadvantages me as a small-scale farmer who has no subsidy; therefore my farm produce becomes really too expensive for the consumers. I cannot afford to export my farm produce to the global market, while the local market is also dominated by imports produced by farmers from rich countries like America, France and so on. This forces me also to remain a subsistence farmer for the rest of my farming career. Mantshiu How have the farming practices changed as a result of this liberalisation? Letsoalo We are really forced to buy more modern farming implements, in order to produce according to the required standard. The standards are very high nowadays, and we need to buy high quality seeds also, in order for us to produce high quality products. Otherwise, we may farm but our produce may not be bought by anybody, because the products may be of poor quality. We need to use more sophisticated farming methods to maximise also our produce, because without maximising produce, it is going to be difficult for one to sustain in this farming. To be able to sustain, we are forced to hire trained labour, which makes the whole process too costly for a small-scale farmer like myself. Mantshiu How then do you see the future of small-scale farming? Letsoalo This is a very important question. Unless our government intervenes to assist us as small-scale farmers, really it is going to be very difficult. We shall be forced to remain as subsistence farmers, who can neither compete at the local markets nor internationally. End of track.
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