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New agricultural development criteria: a proposal for project design and implementation


  • Aart-Jan Verschoor
  • Johan van Rooyen
  • Luc D'Haese


An environment conducive to a viable emerging agricultural sector is developing in South Africa, but it has yet to benefit most resource-poor producers. Some of the crucial constraints are accessibility and affordability of resources and services. Centrally managed agricultural projects as the main historical development model have largely failed to live up to the expectation that this would be the 'cutting edge' of development. This paper argues that the failure of these projects was partly due to four criteria for development not being sufficiently incorporated into project design and implementation: technical aspects of a project must be reconciled with social structures and realities; farmer diversity must be dealt with through focused support; business linkages must be structured and maintained; and skills development and participation must be institutionalised. Two of these criteria - dealing with diversity and facilitating participation - are elaborated on through a case study in the North West Province of South Africa. Typology analysis led to the identification of four distinct farmer types and this was followed by a Logical Framework planning process to develop a unique support strategy for each type. The objectives and activities required for each type are quantified. It is argued that this model, extending the project cycle to include the four new development criteria, constitutes a model for small farmer entrance into a competitive market.

Suggested Citation

  • Aart-Jan Verschoor & Johan van Rooyen & Luc D'Haese, 2005. "New agricultural development criteria: a proposal for project design and implementation," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 501-514.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:22:y:2005:i:4:p:501-514
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350500322677

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cernea, M.M., 1991. "Using knolowledge from social science in development projects," World Bank - Discussion Papers 114, World Bank.
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