Impact of Land Ownership in Enhancing Agricultural Productivity in Rural Areas of Eastern Cape Province


  • L. Mdoda University of KwaZulu Natal
  • L.S. Gidi University of Limpopo



Agricultural productivity, Farmers, Food security, Land ownership


Land is a principal and calamitous factor in agricultural production and the growth of livelihood prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Land ownership is an indispensable resource for agrarian efficiency in the pastoral regions of South Africa. It leads to sustainable and feasible farming. However, the mainstream rural dwellers struggle to access and obtain land ownership, thus leading to low agricultural productivity. Therefore, the study seeks to investigate the effect of land tenure in enhancing agrarian efficiency in rural areas of Eastern Cape Province. The study used a cross-sectional research approach and a multi-stage sampling procedure. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 250 smallholder farmers. The analysis tools used were descriptive statistics, Logit regression, and Propensity Score Matching. Farmers were landowners, with 70% and 60% having small-sized farms, which they utilise for agricultural production. About 17% of the farmers did not utilise the land they own because of a lack of funds, water availability and farming equipment. The farmers' age, gender, years spent in school, members of farm organisations, access to extension services, household income, and hired permanent labour were socio-economic and institutional factors influencing land ownership. PSM results revealed that fully owned small-sized farms achieved high agricultural production than rented large-sized farms. The study concludes that full land ownership impacts agricultural productivity more than rented land. Hence, productivity is high. Therefore, the study recommends that the South African government and land reform policy must fast-track land redistribution among rural dwellers and farmers to enhance agricultural productivity.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


AKINOLA, A.A. & ADEYEMO, R., 2013. Effects of property rights on agricultural production: The Nigerian Experience. J. Dev. Agric. Econ., 5(10): 382-389. DOI:

AKINYEMI, B.E. & MUSHUNJE, A., 2019. Land ownership and usage for agriculture: Empirical evidence from South African living conditions survey. Cogent Soc. Sci., 5(1): 1663691. DOI:

AKRAM, N., AKRAM, M.W., WANG, H. & MEHMOOD, A., 2022. Does land tenure systems affect sustainable agricultural development? Sustain., 11(14): 3925. DOI:

BAMIRE, A.S. & FABIYI, Y.L. 2002., Adoption pattern of fertiliser technology among farmers in the ecological zones of South-Western Nigeria: A Tobit analysis. Aust. J. Agric. Res., 53(8): 901-910. DOI:

BESLEY, T. & GHATAK, M. 2010., Property rights and economic development. In M.R. Rosenzweig & D. Rodrik (Eds.), Handbook of Economic Development. Oxford, and Amsterdam: Elsevier, 4525-4595. DOI:

CALIENDO, M. & KOPEINIG, S., 2008. Some practical guidance for the implementation of propensity score matching. J. Econ. Surv., 22, 31-72. DOI:

CHALLA, M., 2013. Determining factors and impacts of modern agricultural technology adoption in West Wollega, Munich. [Viewed 2 August 2020]. Available from

CHAUKE, P.K., MOTLHATLHANA, M.L., PFUMAYARAMBA, T.K. & ANIM, F.D.K., 2013. Factors influencing access to credit: A case study of smallholder farmers in the Capricorn district of South Africa. Afr. J. Agric. Res., 8(7): 582-585.

DAUDU, A.K., AWOTIDE, B.A., ADEFALU, L.L., KAREEM, O.W. & OLATINWO, L.K., 2022. Impact of land access and ownership on farm production: Empirical evidence from gender analysis in Southwestern Nigeria. AJLP & GS., 5(1): 129-153.

DEININGER, K., SAVASTANO, S. & XIA, F., 2017. Smallholders' land access in Sub-Saharan Africa: A new landscape. Food Policy., 67: 78-92. DOI:


KEBEDE, E.G., 2015. Understanding the factors affecting technology adoption in smallholder livestock production systems in Ethiopia. Doctoral thesis, Wageningen University, Netherlands.

KOIRALAA, K.H., MISHRAB, A. & MOHANTYCA, S., 2016. Impact of land ownership on productivity and efficiency of rice farmers: The case of the Philippines. Land Use Policy., 50: 371-378. DOI:

MDODA, L. & OBI, A., 2019. Analysis of profitability of smallholder Irrigated food plots in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. J. Agribus. Rural Dev., 3(53): 225-232. DOI:

MDODA, L., MELENI, S., MUJURU, N. & ALAKA, K.O., 2019. Agricultural credit effects on smallholder crop farmers input utilization in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Hum. Ecol., 66(1-3): 45-55. DOI:

MUSUNGWINI, S. 2018., Mobile phone use by Zimbabwean smallholder farmers: A baseline study. AJIC., 22: 29-52. DOI:

POCHANASOMBOON, A., ATTAVANICH, W. & KIDSOM, A., 2020. Impacts of land ownership on the economic performance and viability of rice farming in Thailand. Sustain., 9(3): 71. DOI:

SINGIRANKABO, U.A., ERTSEN, M.W. & VAN DE GIESEN, N., 2022. The relations between farmers' land tenure security and agriculture production: An assessment from the perspective of smallholder farmers in Rwanda. Land Use Policy., 118: 106122. DOI:

SINGIRANKABO, U.A. & ERTSEN, M.W., 2020. The relations between land tenure security and agricultural productivity: Exploring the effect of land registration. Sustainability., 9: 138. DOI:

SIKUNDLA, T., MUSHUNJE, A. & AKINYEMI, B.E., 2018. Socio-economic drivers of mobile phone adoption for marketing among smallholder irrigation farmers in South Africa. Cogent Soc. Sci., 4(1), 1-12. DOI:

WOOLDRIDGE, J.M., 2009. Introductory econometrics: A modern approach. 4th ed. Michigan State University.




How to Cite

Mdoda, L., & Gidi, L. (2023). Impact of Land Ownership in Enhancing Agricultural Productivity in Rural Areas of Eastern Cape Province. South African Journal of Agricultural Extension (SAJAE), 51(2), 1–23.

Most read articles by the same author(s)