Generally spoken, agricultural development initiatives have not been translated into the upliftment of the rural poor which is primarily due to a very low level of success of these initiatives. It is believed that the institutional framework is critical in determining the success of agricultural development. In this study an institutional analysis is applied to analyse the current institutional framework revolving around agricultural development in the North West province of South Africa. Results from this institutional analysis revealed that the institutional environment adequately supports agricultural development, however, proper governance structures lacks behind. Based on this finding, recommendations were made on new institutional structures and arrangements that will improve governance and subsequently the level of success of agricultural development. Among the many recommendations, it was suggested that government should engage into public-private partnerships, new rural finance systems should be considered and shortcomings in human capacity should be addressed through participatory partnerships.
Key words: Institutions, agricultural development.
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