Characterization of Youth Agricultural Projects in Limpopo Province of South Africa

Lebohang M. Maele, Azwihangwisi E. Nesamvuni, Khathutshelo A. Tshikolomo, David B. Afful, David Norris


The sustainability of agriculture is dependent on the characterization of project participants. The study investigated selected characteristics of participants in youth agriculture projects and constraints faced and proposed strategies for increased project productivity. Three in four (74%) of the projects were male owned and half (50%) of the owners only had primary education. As for project members, 53.8% were females with 59.3% of them in mixed vegetable and field crop projects. The project members were youthful with 84.4% aged 18-35 (25.3% were 18-25 years old, 25.3% were 26-30 and 33.8% were 31-35). Four in five (78.2%) project members were permanently employed. The projects had constraints that reduced their productivity, and those were mainly: (1) weak relationships with other stakeholders resulting in limited access to information, (2) lack of access to funding, and (3) poor land tenure. To improve productivity: (a) youth projects should be encouraged to form (or be part of) cooperatives, (b) initiatives such as NYDA and Mafisa should be strengthened to be more effective in servicing the youth projects, and (c) traditional authorities should establish committees with clear mandate and guidelines for improved land allocation. Strategies to improve productivity of youth projects should consider the described characteristics of participants in terms of gender, age, education and employment status.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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