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Factors Influencing Communal Livestock Farmers’ Participation into the National Red Meat Development Programme (NRMDP) in South Africa: The Case of the Eastern Cape Province

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Document pages: 8 pages

Abstract: In 2005, ComMark embarked on the Eastern Cape Red Meat Development Programme (ECRMDP) as an initiative to increase formal market participation of communal farmers. With the end of support from ComMark in 2008, the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) took over. With funding from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) and partnerships with the provincial departments and the municipalities, the programme has expanded effectively within the Eastern Cape Province and it has been rolled out to other provinces as well, hence it is now known as the National Red Meat Development Programme (NRMDP). The initiative emanated from the observation that the local demand for beef outstrips production, hence resulting into importation of more beef. This was against the background that there was untapped potential in the communal farming areas where 40 of beef production takes place in South Africa, of which 3.3 million heads of cattle is found in the Eastern Cape alone. Although the programme has so far had a significant contribution towards communal farmers’ participation in formal markets as well as their understanding of the value of formal market participation, empirical evidence to support this notion is still desirable. Hence this case study was conducted to determine the factors that influence farmers’ participation in the programme, focusing on the Eastern Cape Province. A logistic regression model was used to determine factors influencing farmers’ participation in the programme, and the results indicated that distance to markets, stock size, days of fattening and the contribution of the programme (income earned from livestock sales through the programme) significantly influence farmers’ participation. This is an indication that farmers are slowly beginning to understand how they can best make use of the opportunity presented by the programme. Hence policy wise, it is commendable to encourage communal livestock farmers to participate in the programme.

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