The impact of agricultural mechanization on smallholder agricultural productivity: Evidence from Mnquma Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province


  • L. Mdoda University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • S.T.C. Mdletshe University of Fort Hare
  • M.C. DYIKI University of Fort Hare
  • L. Gidi University of Limpopo



Agricultural mechanization, Farm returns, Food security, Productivity, Smallholder farmers


Smallholder agriculture is one of the imperative segments in the South African economy and it remains a vital sector for livelihood generation. Despite its numerous benefits and efforts, smallholder productivity has not improved as expected due to many underlying factors. This paper investigates factors influencing and the impact of agricultural mechanisation on smallholder agricultural production in Mquma Local Municipality located in the Eastern Cape Province. The study applied a descriptive survey research design. A stratified sampling procedure was used to gather information from 120 smallholder farmers using a semi-structured survey. Data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics, a Logistic Regression Model, and Propensity Score Matching. The results of the study reveal that about 90% of the smallholder farmers were using agricultural mechanisation for farming. The use of agricultural mechanisation has an impact on smallholder agricultural production. It ensured a proliferation in smallholder productivity, farm returns, and crop intensity. The study recommends that government and relevant stakeholders must develop effective agricultural access to credit by farmers as a strategy for increasing the adoption attitude to agricultural mechanization. The study suggests that reinforcement of the promotion of innovative technology adoption will have a crucial role in improving smallholder agriculture.


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How to Cite

Mdoda, L., Mdletshe, S., DYIKI, M., & Gidi, L. (2022). The impact of agricultural mechanization on smallholder agricultural productivity: Evidence from Mnquma Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province. South African Journal of Agricultural Extension (SAJAE), 50(1), 76–101.