Factors affecting subsistence farming in rural areas of Nyandeni local municipality in the Eastern Cape Province

  • Qange Siphesihle Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
  • Mdoda Lelethu Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Fort Hare, South Africa https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5402-1304
Keywords: agricultural productivity, subsistence farming, poverty


Agriculture is the foremost locomotive of the economic growth for Sub-Saharan African countries, especially South Africa. Subsistence agriculture is one of the imperative segments in the South African economy and it remains a substantial sector for livelihood generation. Agricultural activities have an ability to provide nutrition, economic, social status and reduce rural poverty. However, subsistence farming has experience significant declined over the past 10 years due to climate change, scarcity of resources, lack of farming equipment and lack of extension services. Therefore, this paper seeks to examine factors affecting subsistence farming in rural homesteads of Nyandeni Local Municipality. Purposively, the data was collected from 120 households. To examine the factors affecting subsistence production, multiple regression was run. Study results reveal that the majority of the farming households are male-headed with an average age of 60 years with a household size of 6 people in the households. The study reveals that age, gender, and employment have an adverse influence subsistence farming production while education, extension services, household size, farming experience, and income have a positive relationship with subsistence farming. Thus, the study recommends government empowerment and training services that will increase the number of women and youth participating in farming. Further to that, government must promote sustainable food production by ensuring collaboration of all stakeholders in government, private sector and NGOs or CBOs.

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