n Agrekon - Improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers through region specific strategies : a case study of South African sheep production - research

Volume 59 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0303-1853
  • E-ISSN: 2078-0400
This article is unavailable for purchase outside of Africa



The paper investigates if two groups of smallholder sheep farmers who farm using communal grazing land in the N8 development corridor of South Africa can be treated in a homogenous manner. Heterogeneous production environments should result in different production responses, which are unique to the production region. A better understanding of these unique responses could guide the development of improved strategies to increase smallholder livestock production in South Africa. A stochastic production frontier approach was used to evaluate two production districts before grouping the data and estimating the metafrontier. The metafrontier represents a homogenous benchmark for all producers. Results indicate that the two districts cannot be treated the same. Therefore a single production function and strategy cannot be used to improve productivity and efficiency of livestock production in both the districts. The conclusion is that the development of strategies to increase smallholder sheep producers, productivity and efficiency requires an understanding of the production, environmental and institutional factors that the farmers experience within that particular district. Considering the study areas used in the paper, attention to the more technical aspects of production and management can improve the farmers’ productivity and efficiency.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error