How bad farming practices reduce agricultural output in south africa


Poor farming practices eventually lead to poor or dead soil, which drastically reduces the nutrient content of mature produce. Plants use nutrients to form leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, stems, and roots.


What has happened to the agriculture in South Africa?

The region had seen declines in production of winter crops, stone fruit and pome fruit, popular vegetables such as onions and potatoes, and wine grapes. In addition, poultry production had made a slow recovery following the bird flu outbreak, and the ostrich meat export ban had had an impact, she said.

How do poor farming practices affect our food?

Poor farming practices are shortcuts that destroy their environment to the point that the environment can no longer sustain normal, healthy growth. Examples include using excessive chemicals, over-tilling, and monocropping. So, how do these affect our foods, and how can we avoid making the same mistakes in our gardens?

Why is agricultural productivity stagnant in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Sub-Saharan Africa (hereafter referred to as Africa) is, however, the only region in the world where per capita agricultural productivity has remained stagnant over the past 40 yea … Agricultural development lies at the heart of poverty reduction and increased food security of most developing nations.

What is sustainable agriculture in South Africa and why is it important?

Sustainable agriculture in South Africa, and the legislation that surrounds it, can reduce poverty and increase the upward mobility of the working class in South Africa. Fortunately, the government is working hard to make that happen.


What are some effects of poor agricultural practices?

Agriculture is the leading source of pollution in many countries. Pesticides, fertilizers and other toxic farm chemicals can poison fresh water, marine ecosystems, air and soil. They also can remain in the environment for generations.

What are the effects of bad agricultural practices on the environment?

Agriculture contributes to a number larger of environmental issues that cause environmental degradation including: climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, dead zones, genetic engineering, irrigation problems, pollutants, soil degradation, and waste.

What are the main problems of agriculture in South Africa?

The Southern African Region is facing formidable economic challenges on issues such as poverty reduction, food security, employment creation, increased farm productivity, the sustainable use of natural resources, land reform and human capital development.

How can the negative effects of agriculture be reduced?

These techniques will also build resilience on our farms and in our food supply as we face the challenges ahead.Efficient Irrigation Management. … Renewable Energy. … Organic Practices. … Increasing Soil Health. … Keeping Agriculture Green. … Reducing Livestock Methane Emissions. … Pasture-Based Livestock Management. … Protecting Farmland.More items…•

What are the impacts of agricultural practices?

The detrimental effects of agricultural practices on soil quality include, erosion, desertification, salinization, compaction, and pollution. The resultant impacts on water resources include pollution due to nutrient and pesticide leaching and intrusion of seawater into aquifers.

Why is that some of the environmental issues affect the development of agriculture?

These changes – such as climate change, increased ground-level ozone, changes in water availability, carbon dioxide fertilisation, soil degradation, deforestation and land use change – can directly and substantially influence agricultural production.

What are the problems faced by farmers during agricultural practices?

Biggest problems faced by farmers in India?Small and fragmented land-holdings: … Seeds: … Manures, Fertilizers and Biocides: … Irrigation: … Lack of mechanisation: … Soil erosion: … Agricultural Marketing: … Scarcity of capital:

What are the five problems of agriculture?

What kind of problems do farmers face?Cope with climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss.Satisfy consumers’ changing tastes and expectations.Meet rising demand for more food of higher quality.Invest in farm productivity.Adopt and learn new technologies.Stay resilient against global economic factors.More items…

What are the biggest problems in agriculture?

Soil quality, water quality, climate, and terrain are just a few of the environmental issues that may impact profits and productivity for farmers in any given growing season.

What are the three main reasons that explain the negative effects of agriculture on health?

What are the three main reasons that explain the negative affects of agriculture on Health? The negative effects of agriculture on Health or that much most of their food came from one or more starchy crops, there was a high risk of starvation, and the spread of diseases.

What are the negative effects of irrigation?

Adverse impactsReduced river flow.Increased groundwater recharge, waterlogging, soil salinity.Reduced downstream river water quality.Affected downstream water users.Lost land use opportunities.Groundwater mining with wells, land subsidence.

How does agriculture affect the economy?

What is agriculture’s share of the overall U.S. economy? Agriculture, food, and related industries contributed $1.055 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, a 5.0-percent share. The output of America’s farms contributed $134.7 billion of this sum—about 0.6 percent of GDP.

What is agroecology a development model?

It is also a development model and social justice movement. Contemporary arguments for agroecology almost universally reference economic and social benefits, specifically for poor, smallholder, and subsistence farmers.

What is agroecology model?

Agroecology models itself explicitly on traditional farming methods and promises to shield farmers from disenfranchisement at the hands of large corporations, for fear that countries like Uganda will follow in the footsteps of the United States and other developed nations that are dominated by “Big Ag.”.

How big is the average farm in Africa?

Since pre-colonial times, agriculture in Africa has remained overwhelmingly small-scale, with an average farm size below two hectares. The vast majority of smallholder farms employs traditional farming practices, with key enterprises focusing mostly on crops and animals that serve as both food and income sources.

Why is the agroecosystem healthy?

If the “agroecosystem” is healthy, thanks to high biodiversity above and below ground, there will be no need for external inputs, and the environment will be spared. A healthy agroecosystem, advocates further argue, can generate yields that rival, or even surpass, those of conventional systems.

Where does Daisy Namusoke grow her crops?

For the past 50 years, Daisy Namusoke has grown crops on her small plot of land in the Buikwe District of Central Uganda, mostly to feed her husband, five children, and two grandchildren. Like most smallholder farmers in Africa, she grows a mix of crops, relies on saved seeds and those purchased from local sources, …

What is the term for a reaction against agricultural modernization?

A reaction against agricultural modernization. The term “agroecology” has no universal definition, and its meaning has evolved substantially since it was first used in the 1920s and ’30s by scientists attempting to integrate the new discipline of ecology with agronomy.

What percentage of Africa is irrigated?

A mere four percent of arable land in sub-Saharan Africa is irrigated, compared to 14 percent in Latin America and 37 percent in Asia. Sub-Saharan Africa’s rainfed agriculture is inherently susceptible to rainfall variability, vulnerable to climate change, and often limited to a single growing season.

Why are crops exposed to higher temperatures?

Crops are exposed to higher temperatures which many can endure. But it’s the increase in extremely hot days (and warm nights) that can cause the most damage. The threat of changing rainfall seasons leading to shifting rainfall dates plays havoc with planting dates and crop management.

How does rainfall affect plants?

This affects rainfall and seasonal patterns on a global scale. It also affects plants’ phenological growth (phases in the plant’s development which require certain thresholds of sunlight, heat and moisture) and physical growth, as well as animal growth and exposure to pests and diseases. Ultimately it contributes directly to yield.

How to reduce post harvest losses?

Focus on reducing post-harvest losses through heat as well as excessive or unseasonal rainfall. Use an ecologically beneficial combination of crops and livestock to restore soil productivity and balance income and expenditure, especially during times of drought, in a financially sound way.

What are the constraints of small scale agriculture?

Common constraints to successful small-scale and emerging commercial agriculture include lack of access to finance, challenges regarding land governance in the communal areas, access to water, the need for effective extension services, and poor infrastructure, such as roads, electricity and access to markets.

Is rainfall changing?

Rainfall patterns are very hard to analyse, as the trends are rarely statistically significant. The average rainfall may not be changing. But there have been longer dry spells on top of which higher temperatures have led to increased evaporation. This has reduced the available water.

Do farmers know every year is profitable?

As a result, farmers understand that not every year will be profitable but over the long run, all things being equal, the good years should outnumber the bad.

What is the Fetsa Tlala initiative?

Fetsa Tlala Initiative. Fetsa Tlala is the newest food security initiative, and it presents much like the Ilima/Letsema grant, but with a much more narrow focus. According to a 2014 News24 article, Fetsa Tlala was created to take unused land in different provinces of South Africa and begin producing food for it.

How does sustainable agriculture help South Africa?

Sustainable agriculture in South Africa, and the legislation that surrounds it, can reduce poverty and increase the upward mobility of the working class in South Africa.

What is a CASP grant?

Comprehensive Agricultural Support Grant (CASP) is a grant offered to businesses whose main focus is on the growth of agriculture and land reform in an area. The grant focuses on six major areas, including technology and systems management, regulatory services, marketing and business development, training, farm infrastructure and financial support groups; it is offered in hopes that these local and national companies can help build a more sustainable society in their region.

How much of South Africa is in poverty?

South African statistics state that over half of the country currently lives in poverty (59 percent). Of the employed population of South Africa, only 68,000 …

What is a MAFISA loan?

Micro-Agricultural Financial Institutions of South Africa (MAFISA) is a micro-loan operation which offers local farmers and business owners the opportunity to purchase equipment such as fertilizer, seeds and wheelbarrows, which may not have otherwise been available to farmers. MAFISA also offers savings mobilization capabilities, so that the small business owners can begin to build their own savings for the future.

Is agriculture sustainable in South Africa?

Sustainable agriculture in South Africa is on the rise . Sustainable development can take many forms, but it always requires financial support that often comes from nonprofit organizations or the government.

Agriculture importance and its perspectives in Africa

Building an agro-ecosystem can promote social cohesion, promote profitable continental and global trade, and create millions of jobs for Africa. Transformation in the level of the farmer should try to increase production, improve market access and increase product margins.

Agricultural development practices in Africa

The mechanisms by which agricultural development promotes change in the wider economy;

Challenges for agriculture in Africa

There should be no illusion of immediate reforms or miracle paths toward African self-reliance in food and agriculture. Achieving a profitable agricultural sector will require Africa to meet a complex set of challenges, including;

Vision for agriculture in Africa

Achieving food security (both in terms of availability and affordability and ensuring access to adequate food and nutrition for the poor);

Major crops cultivated in Africa

Africa produces all the major grains; Corn, Wheat, and Rice; in terms of importance. Corn is the most widely distributed, grown in almost all ecological zones.

Strategies for improving smallholder production systems for agriculture in Africa

Agricultural development lies at the heart of most developing countries’ agricultural development at the heart of poverty reduction and increased food security.

Ways to improve agriculture productivity and growth in Africa

Increasing research on plant breeding, which takes into account Africa’s unique soil types, is an important requirement. The CGIAR consortium of agricultural research centers estimates that the benefits of such research will estimate yield six dollars.

What is Nwoko’s concern?

Lack of government support. Nwoko thinks that there is growing concern amongst farmers regarding the lack of government assistance. This, she adds, is disheartening for farmers, who have lost faith and trust in government. “Consider, for example, the support that new farmers should be receiving from extension officers.

Do farmers in South Africa take care of their employees?

Additionally, says Nwoko, a perception exists in South Africa that farmers don’t take care of their employees , providing them with substandard and generally poor living and working conditions. “This might hold true in some cases, but not for all, and it might be a small fraction who do this.

Why is monocropping important?

Monocropping creates a target for pests and pathogens. A large field of sunflowers is much easier for pests and diseases to find than wild sunflowers intermingled with other weeds and flowers. Imagine a weevil finds a wild sunflower.

What are some natural remedies for pests?

For example, diatomaceous earth is a common “natural remedy” for many pest problems, but it is a chemical that controls pests, which makes it a pesticide. The term natural remedy is misleading. Most of these remedies are naturally-occurring orbiodegradable chemicals. Almost all “natural remedies” for pest problems are simply chemical pesticides with little to no risk for the applicator: 1 Peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and other essential oils are chemical pesticides 2 Oil and soap sprays are chemical pesticides 3 Vinegar is a chemical pesticide

Why do farmers use synthetic fertilizers?

Soil with a healthy texture is able to drain easily while still holding onto moisture, and it can also bind to nutrients to increase fertility. Weed control decreases soil organic matter, which results in poor fertility, which is why farmers have to use synthetic fertilizers.

How do weevils affect plants?

As the weevil infects one seed head, the insects start to reproduce and move on to the surrounding flowers. A lack of trees and native plants make it difficult for birds and beneficial insects to keep the population in check. Soon, an unstoppable swarm of weevils grows and moves across the field and decimates the crop.

Why are fields weed free?

Fields must be weed-free to prevent contamination in harvested crops and reduce water and nutrient competition. In nature, weeds don’t exist. Plants are intermingled, and each plant serves a purpose in the ecosystem. Some plants feed butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

What do plants feed?

Some plants feed butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Leafy plants feed grazing animals, while flowers and trees produce nuts and seeds for rodents. In commercial production, weeds compete with crops for water and nutrition, and some can get caught up in harvesting equipment and contaminate grain crops.

What are some examples of poor farming practices?

Examples include using excessive chemicals, over-tilling, and monocropping.

How does agriculture help the economy?

However, there is no consensus on the issue of whether agriculture is the most appropriate way to fight poverty in developing countries. One school of thought argues that since the majority of people in most developing countries are in rural areas and most of them are engaged in agricultural production or agriculture-related activities, agriculture is the most effective way to reduce poverty. The second school of thought recognises the contribution of agriculture to poverty alleviation but attaches more importance to non-agricultural activities (e.g. rural non-farm enterprises and social services). For example, McIntosh and Vaughan (1996:91) state that “… the notion that a broadly based smallholder agriculture can be created, and that it can transform the character of the agricultural production system is an inappropriate premise on which to build policy frameworks designed to improve livelihoods” in South Africa. Noting these divergent views on the role of smallholder agriculture in poverty alleviation, the following section outlines the positive contribution of agriculture, especially smallholder agriculture, to poverty alleviation.

Is smallholder agriculture a public good?

Therefore, little progress can be expected in achieving the objectives of agricultural development without government involvement. Some of the initiatives of the South African government aimed at promoting smallholder agricultural development are outlined in this section.


Political Imperatives

Although the agricultural sector had to provide food, the new democratic government also needed it to address political challenges related to rural development, social and political issues. The focus at the time was on transforming the sector to achieve these political goals rather than to prepare for global competition. Looking at land ownership, this is understandable. More than 80% of agric…

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Tracing The Problem

  • Within a year of the democratic government coming into power it had to accede to the World Trade Organisation(WTO). This meant that South Africa entered into an agreement that exposed its economy to global competition and had to play by global rules, both at home and internationally. Other agreements were signedwith the European Union (EU) and southern African countries. Some are still being negotiated. The direction taken by …

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The Consequences

  • Two decisions – accession to the WTO and deregulation – put the sector in a very difficult position. In terms of job creation the sector has performed poorly. In addition, its contribution to GDPhas shrunk to less than 3% of GDP from 4.6% in 1994. Land redistribution has also not succeeded. Only 7.5%of he land targeted for black people has been tra…

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Some Positive Outcomes

  • Despite the limited agricultural potential and resource scarcity, South Africa has managed to make substantial improvements in many areas. It remains one of the main exporters of agricultural products to the most lucrative markets in the developed world. It exports citrus, wool, avocados and nuts to the US and horticultural products, wine and tea to the EU. South Africa has also found new markets. Its biggest trading partners are now in Africa, …

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Policy Concerns

  • Some of the contributors to the sector’s poor performance have been policy implementation and the panic these have caused among farmers. Land reform is one policy area that will need to be designed and implemented better. There are other government programmes which were pursued with the aim of transforming the sector, but the implementation, evaluation and monitoring have been very poor. Support of smallholders and black farmers …

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