A factor analysis of access to and use of service infrastructure amongst emerging farmers in South Africa
While many studies have identified infrastructure as a constraints to production in agriculture in South Africa, few have attempted to investigate the extent to which emerging farmers are able to access and utilise infrastructure services. This paper uses data collected from 500 emerging farmers across the nine provinces of South Africa to determine the accessibility and use of infrastructure by emerging farmers. Factor Analysis was applied on fifteen indicators of infrastructure. The principal components extraction method extracted four factors, namely distance to services infrastructure, tarred road conditions to the services infrastructure, visitation to general services infrastructure and agricultural support services infrastructure. The results show that services infrastructure is generally more accessible to emerging farmers than before. The factors that determine the accessibility to infrastructure services include the distance of the nearest town from the villages, the state of the roads that farmers use and the frequency of visits to the nearest town. The distance to services infrastructure is segregated from condition and usage. The results indicate that all services are in a more or less similar location and in similar condition in terms of access. The implication of this study is that policy should address farmersâ€™ access to services, which are sometimes in bundles, and the role of locating services in centres is pertinent as it stimulates agricultural and rural development.
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