Title page for ETD etd-06152011-105958

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Raidimi, Edzisani Nelson
Email raidimi@univen.ac.za
URN etd-06152011-105958
Document Title The participation and role of women in selected agricultural projects in the Limpopo Province of South Africa
Degree PhD
Department Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development
Advisor Name Title
Dr T Ngomane Co-Supervisor
Prof G H Duvel Supervisor
  • participation of women in agriculture
  • Limpopo Province of South Africa
Date 2011-04-14
Availability restricted
Understanding the role of women in agriculture and planning programmes relevant to their roles and needs is a prerequisite for the success of agricultural development programmes. This study is about the participation of women in agriculture in the six selected projects in the Thulamela Municipality of the Vhembe District in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. The problem investigated was the insufficient focus on women’s roles and their activities in agricultural production by the Department of Agriculture of the Limpopo Province. Policy makers did not sufficiently take the interests of women into account and this undermined women empowerment. The contribution of women to agriculture, as well as their needs, was poorly documented. The general objective of the study was to build awareness and bring about an attitudinal change on gender issues among policy makers, researchers, extension workers and activists, with the purpose of creating recognition of the role women play in agriculture, household and food security. The study was designed to investigate the multiple roles and activities of women in the rural agricultural economy, and their impact on household food security and rural livelihoods. The study determined the extent of support and/or participation of rural women in agricultural development, identified and analysed the barriers women faced in their struggle for sustainable livelihoods and generated policy-guidelines and recommendations that could help improve the conditions of women.

The focus of the study was on women. Although the focus of the study was on the participation of women in agricultural production, a male perspective was also included in the methodological design as active role players within the family environment. A structured questionnaire was used to collect primary data, both quantitative and qualitative, from a randomly selected sample of 100 women. Other primary data was obtained from another randomly selected sample of 137 male (71) and female (66) farmers who formed different focus group, as well as from key informant interviews and transact walks (personal observation and notes in diary form). Secondary data was obtained from literature. Data was compiled by using D Base Program and analysed using the Statistical Package of Social Science Program.

The study results showed that women are major contributors to agriculture and that they play a primary role in ensuring the food security and nutritional status of their household members. They achieve this despite unequal access to land, inputs, credit, information, research and extension, compared to men. Given equal access to resources and human capital, women farmers can achieve yields equal to and in cases even significantly higher than those of men.

The study concluded that women assume major responsibilities for many agricultural activities, including the processing, storage and marketing of food crops. Women are the backbone of food production and provision for family consumption. The study also found that women spend more time per day farming on their farms. In spite of all these, women have limited access to critical resources, inputs and support services and they are faced with a number of barriers which tend to act as constraints towards production. Despite all these, the Department of Agriculture in the Limpopo Province has focused insufficiently on their role and activities in agriculture practices, food security and household livelihood.

The obstacles discussed in this study can indeed be overcome, if there is first the political will on the part of the government to provide the required policies, resources and programmes that will benefit women, and secondly the commitment of both men and women to create an environment where justice prevails over discrimination.

© 2010 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Raidimi, EN 2010, The participation and role of women in selected agricultural projects in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06152011-105958/ >


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