Secure land rental contracts and agricultural investment in two communal areas of KwaZulu-Natal
This study tests the hypothesis that an efficient rental market for cropland is a significant determinant of agricultural investment in the communal areas of KwaZulu-Natal. An efficient rental market creates an opportunity cost for under-utilisation, which tends to transfer resources to more effective users. The efficiency of a rental market is compromised by the presence of transaction costs that reduce returns for both lessees and lessors. Transaction costs include risk arising from a possible breach of the rental contract. Potential losses caused by a breach of contract can be reduced by introducing a credible third-party to witness the contract. Likewise, moral hazard can be reduced by contracting with trusted persons. Data from household surveys conducted in two communal areas of KwaZulu-Natal were used to estimate a regression model explaining levels of investment in crop production amongst tenant farmers. The results confirm that tenants invest more when they contract with friends or family, and if their contracts are formally witnessed by a credible third-party. Interventions that reduce potential losses caused by a breach of contract are therefore expected to promote market efficiency and investment in crop production. In the short-run, the Provincial Department of Agriculture should sanction rental contracts negotiated by lessors and lessees. Ultimately, legal reform that leads to predictable contract enforcement in the communal areas is required to improve market efficiency and levels of investment in agriculture.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mark Casson & Nigel Wadeson, 1998. "Communication Costs and the Boundaries of the Firm," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 5-27.
- Louise Fenwick & Mike Lyne, 1999. "The relative importance of liquidity and other constraints inhibiting the growth of small-scale farming in KwaZulu-Natal," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 141-155.
- Nick Vink & Gavin Williams & Johann Kirsten, 2004.
in: The World's Wine Markets, chapter 12
Edward Elgar Publishing.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:8012. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.