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Premature deagriculturalisation? Land inequality and rural dependency in Limpopo province, South Africa

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  • Robert Eastwood
  • Johann Kirsten
  • Michael Lipton

Abstract

Cross-national regressions reveal abnormally low agricultural workforce shares, given GNP, in developing countries that had historically concentrated land into large capital-intensive farms. We argue that such deagriculturalisation was premature, since its concomitant labour shedding has undesirable outcomes. In a new South African survey, a large proportion of rural households (and working-age persons) was 'dependent', relying for income almost wholly on either migrant remittances or pensions. A separate group (with less poverty and unemployment) relied mainly on local, including own-farm, income. The group was heavily over-represented in one of the three regions, where many more households had significant land.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 42 (2006)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
Pages: 1325-1349

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:42:y:2006:i:8:p:1325-1349

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References

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  1. Binswanger, Hans P. & Deininger, Klaus & Feder, Gershon, 1993. "Power, distortions, revolt, and reform in agricultural land relations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1164, The World Bank.
  2. Ravallion, Martin & Sen, Binayak & DEC, 1994. "How land-based targeting affects rural poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1270, The World Bank.
  3. Hazell, P. B. R. & Roell, Ailsa, 1983. "Rural growth linkages: household expenditure patterns in Malaysia and Nigeria," Research reports 41, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Lipton, Michael, 1993. "Land reform as commenced business: The evidence against stopping," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 641-657, April.
  5. Deininger, Klaus & Olinto, Pedro, 2000. "Asset distribution, inequality, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2375, The World Bank.
  6. Reardon, Thomas, 1997. "Using evidence of household income diversification to inform study of the rural nonfarm labor market in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 735-747, May.
  7. Deininger, Klaus & May, Julian, 2000. "Can there be growth with equity : an initial assessment of land reform in South Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2451, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Deininger, Klaus W. & Jin, Songqing & Yadav, Vandana, 2008. "Impact of Land Reform on Productivity, Land Value and Human Capital Investment: Household Level Evidence from West Bengal," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6277, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  2. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Nagarajan, Hari K., 2007. "Land reforms, poverty reduction, and economic growth : evidence from India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4448, The World Bank.
  3. Stefania Lovo, 2012. "Market imperfections, liquidity, and farm household labor allocation: the case of rural South Africa," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 43(4), pages 417-428, 07.
  4. Christine Valente, 2011. "Household Returns to Land Transfers in South Africa: A Q-squared Analysis," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 354-376.
  5. Michael Lipton, 2012. "Learning From Others: Increasing Agricultural Productivity for Human Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 2012-007, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa (UNDP/RBA).
  6. Freguin-Gresh, Sandrine & Anseeuw, Ward & D'Haese, Marijke F.C., 2012. "Demythifying Contract Farming: Evidence from Rural South Africa," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126567, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  7. Lovo, Stefania, 2008. "Market Imperfections And Class Structure: The Case Of South Africa," 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain 6675, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  8. Sourisseau, J.M. & Bosc, P.M. & Fréguin-Gresh, S. & Bélières, J.F. & Bonnal, P. & Le Coq, J.F. & Anseeuw, W. & Dury, S., 2012. "Représenter la diversité des formes familiales de la production agricole. Approches théoriques et empiriques," Working Papers MOISA 201205, UMR MOISA : Marchés, Organisations, Institutions et Stratégies d'Acteurs : CIHEAM-IAMM, CIRAD, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro, IRD - Montpellier, France.

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