An Analysis of Challenges Facing Smallholder Crop Farmers and Informal Food Traders in the Agri-Food Value Chain in Gauteng Province, South Africa


  • L. Msomi University of the Free State
  • M. Zenda University of the Free State



Smallholder Crop Farmers, Informal Food Traders, Agri-Food Value Chain, Informal Food System


The study's main objective was to investigate the challenges faced by smallholder crop farmers and informal food traders in the agri-food value chain in Gauteng province. A sample of 32 smallholder crop farmers and 32 informal food traders was gathered using questionnaire surveys. The different challenges identified have negatively influenced the progress and development of these actors. For example, COVID-19 lockdown regulations have destroyed the trading jobs of informal food traders, directly affecting smallholder crop farmers' income. This was because informal food traders were identified as the major customers for smallholder crop farmers, as indicated by the study data. Other challenges faced by smallholder crop farmers included a small amount of arable land, lack of grower schemes, regulatory barriers, lack of agricultural management skills and extension services, and lack of credit facilities and resources. As part of the recommendations for the smallholder crop farmers, it was proposed that the Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development should improve policies on the reaction and management of shocks like COVID-19 in the economy to protect the vulnerable groups in society. Additional recommendations included addressing gender disparity in the smallholder crop farming sector as males dominated the agricultural sector; introducing easy eligibility criteria for micro-loan applications by DFIs to enable smallholder crop farmers to access loans; and the proposal for extensive arable land to aid smallholder crop farmers to expand and grow in their business trajectory. For the informal food traders, it was recommended that the municipal authority improve the by-laws that govern how informal food traders are treated.


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How to Cite

Msomi, L., & Zenda, M. (2024). An Analysis of Challenges Facing Smallholder Crop Farmers and Informal Food Traders in the Agri-Food Value Chain in Gauteng Province, South Africa. South African Journal of Agricultural Extension (SAJAE), 52(2), 120–144.

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