Smallholder farmers’ perceptions of factors that constrain the competitiveness of a formal organic crop supply chain in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

MAG Darroch, T Mushayanyama


The 48 organic-certified members of the Ezemvelo Farmers’ Organisation in KwaZulu-Natal were surveyed during October-November 2004 to assess what factors they perceive constrain the competitiveness of a formal supply chain that markets their amadumbe, potatoes and sweet potatoes. They identified uncertain climate, tractor not available when needed, delays in payments for crops sent to the pack-house, lack of cash and credit to finance inputs, and more work than the family can handle as the current top five constraints. Principal Component Analysis further identified three valid institutional dimensions of perceived constraints  and two valid farm-level dimensions. Potential solutions to better manage these constraints are discussed, including the need for the farmers to renegotiate the terms of their incomplete business contract with the pack-house agent.    

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Submitted: 21 May 2014
Published: 22 May 2014

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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences    |    ISSN: 1015-8812 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2222-3436 (ONLINE)