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Improving smallholders' market participation: Insights from a business scheme for maize in Limpopo Province, South Africa


  • Estelle Biénabe
  • Hester Vermeulen


It is widely acknowledged that lack of market participation and limited access to agricultural services contribute to keeping semi-subsistence farmers trapped in poverty. This paper discusses the potential of an innovative business scheme to enhance smallholders' situations by providing access to an integrated service provision scheme. The authors conducted an integrated analysis of farmers' production, consumption and processing patterns using case-based evidence. While confirming that the presence of rural depots can improve smallholders' access to services, they also highlight some drawbacks of private intervention and show the importance of taking into account the diversity of economic and social factors when designing smallholder support instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • Estelle Biénabe & Hester Vermeulen, 2011. "Improving smallholders' market participation: Insights from a business scheme for maize in Limpopo Province, South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 493-507, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:28:y:2011:i:4:p:493-507
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2011.605567

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