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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Eastwood & Johann Kirsten & Michael Lipton, 2006. "Premature deagriculturalisation? Land inequality and rural dependency in Limpopo province, South Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 1325-1349.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:42:y:2006:i:8:p:1325-1349
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380600930614
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Deininger, Klaus & Olinto, Pedro, 2000. "Asset distribution, inequality, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2375, The World Bank.
    4. Ravallion, Martin & Sen, Binayak & DEC, 1994. "How land-based targeting affects rural poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1270, The World Bank.
    5. Binswanger, Hans P. & Deininger, Klaus & Feder, Gershon, 1995. "Power, distortions, revolt and reform in agricultural land relations," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 42, pages 2659-2772 Elsevier.
    6. 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).
    7. Lipton, Michael, 1993. "Land reform as commenced business: The evidence against stopping," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 641-657, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. K. Deininger & S. Jin & H. K. Nagarajan, 2009. "Land Reforms, Poverty Reduction, and Economic Growth: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(4), pages 496-521.
    2. 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 - Montpellier, France.
    3. 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).
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:190-200 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Michael Lipton, "undated". "Learning From Others: Increasing Agricultural Productivity for Human Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2012-007, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    8. 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.
    9. 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, July.

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