African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6214

Full Length Research Paper

Transforming smallholder agriculture through cooperatives for improving households’ food security at OR Tambo District Municipality, South Africa

Cishe B. E.
  • Cishe B. E.
  • Research Department, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa.
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Shisanya S. O.
  • Shisanya S. O.
  • Research Department, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa.
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  •  Accepted: 22 March 2019
  •  Published: 30 November 2019

Abstract

Agriculture is a primary source of food, employment and income in rural households. Agricultural cooperatives have been regarded as possible vehicles in achieving these objectives. Small holder farming in the OR Tambo District Municipality has marginally been performed in contributing to households’ food security. Research indicates that there are many factors affecting agricultural cooperative development and agriculture productivity that are unique. This study investigated the role of agricultural cooperatives in transforming small holder agriculture and household food security in OR Tambo District municipality. A questionnaire and focus group discussions were used in data collection. Comparison of means and construction of themes were used in data analysis. The findings showed that agricultural cooperative members had very little understanding of the cooperative principles. They experienced low commodity prices and lacked the knowledge and capital to deal with food insecurity. They employed a variety of coping strategies to deal with these challenges. Most households were in the moderately to mildly food insecure categories. Transforming small holder agriculture in OR Tambo District Municipality will require building members’ capacity on cooperative principles and agricultural production processes for improved households’ food security.

Key words: Co-operatives, climate, agriculture, food security, copping strategies.