Strategic Options to Improve Livelihoods in Ganspan Settlement, South Africa: Current Cropping Practices and Options

Submitted by charlotte.schilt on Mon, 09/24/2018 - 13:23

Socio-ecological niche framework followed throughout the study emphasize the importance of involving farmers when bringing new technology. The study has allowed farmers the opportunity to have a voice in the process of finding a way forward suitable to local realities. Current practices in the community are discovered with particular focus on cropping systems, cropping activities, challenges and soil management strategies. Current practices and preferences have given insight on constraints and opportunities for the introduction of alternative crops in the area. Furthermore, the study aimed to identify crops together with farmers and also consider market demands in an multi-disciplinary partnership. Hence various vegetables were recommended to be grown in Ganspan Settlement.


However, local ecological constraints will hinder production of the recommended crops. Identification of crops that are acceptable to the farmers and suitable to agro-ecological conditions and local ecological conditions results in various trade-offs for farmers. Moreover, crop theft has a direct impact on the type of crops selected by farmers. Strategic options are suggested as a way of coping with local constraints and improving livelihoods with emphasis on the integrated management approach. In addition, farmers acknowledge the need for training before recommended crops can be grown. Therefore farmers are only willing to plant these crops after intensive training and collaboration with the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture and Land Reform.

Wongiwe Theodora Hashe
South Africa


small scale farmers, vegetables, partial nutrient balance, livelihoods, options
Ken Giller, Mark van Wijk