Joint ventures and livelihoods in emerging small-scale irrigation schemes in Greater Sekhukhune District: Perspectives from Hereford
Tapela, Barbara Nompumelelo
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Small-scale irrigation farming is envisaged as playing a progressively larger role in rural development and in reducing some of the inequalities inherent in South Africa’s space economy. The promotion of entry by black farmers into commercialised small-scale irrigation farming appears to have been bolstered by the late 1990s convergence of agricultural, water, land, local government and other sector reforms. Concomitant to these reforms, the government’s macro-policy shifts seem to favour the creation of a black farming elite, and an important question centres on the possible negative impacts of neo-liberal policies on the livelihoods of the poorest and most vulnerable people within smallscale irrigation farming communities. It is also debatable whether a new class of petty commodity producers can establish a viable niche within global commodity chains, given the significant constraints to effective participation in a highly competitive and globalised commodity production sector.