The Interface Between Entrepreneurship as a Climate Change Mitigation Strategy and Improved Rural Household Food Security and Food Systems Sustainability in South Africa

  •  Ndou Portia    
  •  Bridget Taruvinga    
  •  Igenicious N. Hlerema    
  •  Christian P. du Plooy    
  •  Sonja L. Venter    


The worst and most direct impacts of climate change will fall disproportionately on livelihood systems and vulnerable populations that are already poor and food insecure. The highly vulnerable are communities dominated by farming, with limited livelihood diversification and adaptive capacity at household level. During the past three years, rural enterprises were established in six provinces of South Africa to increase access to food and to create income streams for farming communities in rural areas as part of the broader rural development strategy. This study sought to determine the impact of smallholder agricultural entrepreneurship through sweet potato and indigenous vegetable production on improved access to food, income generation and job creation. Return on Investment and Logistic regression analysis were used to analyse the data collected from 186 project beneficiaries. The results of the study indicated that enterprise development intervention impacted positively on household income, job creation and formal market access. The logistic regression model showed a significant relationship between productivity and access to formal markets (P < 0.001), educational level (P < 0.0001) and access to training (P < 0.002) at the 1% significance level. Sustainable establishment of these enterprises must be ensured through infrastructure support, capacity building and adapting to changes in cultivation practices intended to cope with climate change.

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