DETERMINANTS OF USE OF FARM MECHANIZATION SERVICES IN EMERGING FARMERS, NORTH WEST PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA
There are low levels of farm mechanization in South Africa despite government efforts to improve access to infrastructure and finance through the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP). The objective of this study is to assess the levels of mechanisation in the emerging sector and the determinants thereof. The sample size consisted of 163 randomly selected maize and sunflower emerging farmers in North West Province. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to assess level of mechanization and the Tobit regression model was used to analyze factors that influence usage of farm machinery. The study revealed that variables including land tenure (p < 0.05), financial assistance (p < 0.01), access to loans (p < 0.05), and accessibility to road infrastructure (p < 0.01) positively influenced usage of mechanization. In addition, the variable age (p < 0.01) had a negative statistically significant influence on farm mechanization. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that the government should consider scaling up the CASP to finance more farmers and review its land reform policy to ensure ownership of land to more young smallholder farmers who can use mechanization services for efficient agricultural production.
Emerging farmers; equipment; agricultural production; mechanization
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