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Masters Degrees (Food Security)

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    The effect of digital technology in agriculture on market access and household food security among smallholder vegetable farmers in Ntfonjeni and Sidvokodvo communities of Eswatini.
    (2024) Lukhele , Busile Glory.; Thamaga-Chitja , Joyce Magoshi.
    Many industries, big and small, including agriculture, are being affected by the 4th industrial revolution. The inclusion and adaptation of digital technology in agriculture can advance market participation and improve food security of smallholder farmers in developing countries. In Eswatini, rural households primarily participate in farming as a means of improving their livelihoods. However, there is still a research gap on the scope on the impact of digital technology in agriculture on market access and household food security among smallholder vegetable farmers in Eswatini. This study sought to assess the role of digital technology in agriculture among smallholder farmers in accessing markets and household food security in Eswatini. The study was conducted at Ntfonjeni and Sidvokodvo community in Eswatini. A mixed method approach was employed in the study. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample of 100 active long-term smallholder vegetable farmer. They were interviewed face to face using a questionnaire. Moreover, two extension officers were interviewed as key informants to understand their perception regarding the awareness and adoption of smallholder vegetable farmers on using digital technology when accessing markets. The data was analysed using SPSS version 28. Descriptives statistics revealed that there were more male famers (56%) compared to female farmers (44%), cabbage was the most grown vegetable. Moreover, results indicated that a normal phone (23.58%) was the most owned digital tool among farmers and phone calls were the common means used by farmers when advertising. Most farmers sold their produce at farm gate and the most common market were the local community members. Farmers received most of their market information from other agricultural cooperative members and through extension officers through phone calls. In addition, majority of, the farmers (36.7%) indicated that that they did not receive training on digital marketing. Mobile money was the most used digital platform for money transaction among smallholder farmers. Furthermore, most farmers received their farm credit from micro finance institutions, particularly Fincorp. Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HHFIAS) score revealed that 24% farmers were food secure, 39% farmers were moderately food insecure, 31% farmers were mildly food insecure and 6% were severely food insecure. It was concluded that the use digital technology on market access had less impact on household food security. The policy makers and supporting organizations should develop programmes aimed to empowering social capital and human capital assets of the farmers through designing a ‘Siswati’ digital marketing platform. Campaigns that promote using of the digital platforms should create an awareness amongst vegetable farmers. Moreover, vegetable farmers should be educated on the benefits and operation of digital technology platforms used for marketing and its benefits. Extension officers must ensure that vegetable farmers are not only trained on growing marketable vegetables but also understand the benefits of consuming a more diverse diet to improve their food insecurity status. KEYWORDS: Digital technology, market access, smallholder farmer, food security.
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    The youth’s knowledge, perceptions and acceptance of african leafy vegetables growing in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2023) Shembe, Precious Sanelisiwe.; Kolanisi, Unathi.; Ngobese, Nomali.; Siwela, Muthulisi.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    The role of non-governmental organisations in facilitating smallholder farmers’ sccess to markets in Eswatini.
    (2022) Stambuli, Emmanuel.; Naidoo, Denver.
    Market access is believed to be a necessity for smallholder farmers who produce crops and sell surplus crops for income purposes. The lack of market accessibility is a challenge faced by the majority of smallholder farmers. Lack of market accessibility is caused by various factors such as low levels of production, poor infrastructure as well as issues to do with high transportation costs. However, the role played by Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) within the agricultural sector has been of influence in facilitating market access for smallholder farmers. NGOs in developing and less developed countries have identified the need to support smallholder farmers and intervene to alleviate poverty and positively contribute to improving smallholder farmer livelihoods. In the Kingdom of Eswatini (KoE), there has been a growing emphasis on smallholder farmer agri-business development to enable smallholder farmers to benefit from market operations. Smallholder farmers are, however, still faced with constraints that negatively influence their participation in various markets. In the KoE, smallholder farmers have often found it difficult to produce crops in large quantities, and crops with good quality for the available markets that are highly dominated by commercial farmers. However, the Ministry of Agriculture in the KoE has managed to collaborate with key international organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). As a result, programmes such as the Swaziland Agricultural Development Programme (SADP) have been launched to work with local NGOs to establish marketing platforms for smallholder farmers seeking to engage in agri-business. This has resulted in the need to fully explore the role of NGOs in facilitating market access for smallholder farmers and what the smallholder farmers think about the work that the NGOs do in improving their agricultural livelihoods. The study focused on exploring the role of NGOs in facilitating market access for smallholder farmers. The study adopted a mixed-method approach, and the data collection was conducted through the distribution of questionnaires to smallholder farmers and the conducting of interviews with NGO representatives. The selection of participants occurred using purposive sampling. The smallholder farmer participants were recruited from various NGOs in the KoE that this study selected. A total of six NGOs working with smallholder farmers in the KoE ensured that several of their smallholder farmer beneficiaries and representatives participate in the study. The questionnaires were analysed using SPSS 27 and the interviews were analysed using Nvivo 12. The study revealed that NGOs do play a vital role in assisting smallholder farmers to have access to markets from the production level to the market accessibility level. Furthermore, the study revealed that smallholder farmers rely on NGOs for production inputs to increase their yields and for NGOs to find appropriate markets for them. The research also found that NGOs have their challenges when it comes to operating with smallholder farmers and facilitating market access for them. Further, the study revealed that a lack of access to funding is a major constraint that smallholder farmers are faced with and are therefore unable to produce high-value crops which can enable them access to various formal markets. The study recommends that NGOs in the KoE ought to train smallholder farmers more on the importance of establishing their markets in the communities that they come from. The study recommends that market identification, accessibility, and creation for smallholders should be the focus for policymakers and NGOs. Interventions aimed at enhancing market accessibility and participation among smallholder farmers in the KoE should be implemented. There is also a need for the government to play a vital role in assisting NGOs in the KoE to meet their goals. Lastly, it is recommended that a market-led approach to smallholder farmer development be adopted to improve the commercial prospects of smallholder farmers whilst bolstering farmers’ livelihoods.
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    Assessment of entrepreneurial risk and water quality in urban agriculture.
    (2022) Ndwalane, Sinethemba Zakhona.; Chitja, Joyce Magoshi.; Ojo, Temitope Oluwaseun.
    Urban agriculture (UA) serves diverse purposes in various societies. However, there are many difficulties that urban farmers must overcome in UA, as it is a risky industry like any other sector. The limited availability of natural resources such as land and water, present production risk for the farmers as they are subjected to production on small areas of land available. The practice of agricultural production further depletes the water supplies that are accessible. Urbanization is predicted to lead to a decline in water quantity and quality because agriculture uses a big portion of the water supply and population increase. Measures, such as water resource management, drip irrigation, and wastewater re-use, are taken to manage the deterioration of water quality, as they affect how money and decisions are made. Factors such as production, pricing (market), and human, financial, and institutional risk are all risk concerns for farmers as they affect their "entrepreneurial spirit" and willingness to take on any risk. Over the years, research has addressed risk variables that influence smallholder and commercial farmers in rural regions; however, there has been little research on the risk factors that affect entrepreneurship in UA. Furthermore, the presence of risk in agriculture also presents food and nutrition insecurity as farmers tend to be risk averse. The study aimed to evaluate the risk factors on decisions making by urban farmers and the effects on income generation, while also reviewing the literature on the water policies on access, use and quality, and the farmer’s perception of the use of WW in UA and the role of UA in food and nutrition security. The study’s methodology was a mixed-method approach, employing both qualitative and quantitative data collection and data analysis methods. A multistage sampling technique was used to randomly select 78 urban households. The sample included 48 urban farmers and 30 non-urban respondents who were purposefully selected to be part of the study. The selection was complimented through a structured questionnaire survey complemented by observations and focus group discussions. For data analysis of the qualitative and quantitative results, the study made use of a thematic and content analysis of the policies; the study also employed Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and logistic regression analysis of the results. This study employed a review of literature on the policies in place that govern water access, use and quality in South Africa. The socio-demographic results from the study show that the respondents were mostly females; with the mean age of 58, and only a few of the respondents were classified as youth between the ages 18-40. The findings revealed that there are policies in place that govern water access and use, and quality. However, the findings show that there are no policies that are specific to water access, use and quality in urban agriculture. Moreover, it was found that there are guidelines relating to water quality as urban farmers have been found to use WW due to the water shortages in cities. To cover the shortfall, the farmers, use other sources of water such as rainwater, river, dam and wastewater. The results on farmer perception revealed that the majority of the farmers were not open to using WW even though they were aware of its use in agriculture. The findings further revealed that the respondents are somewhat aware of the risk factors in UA and how they impact their income generating capacity. It was found that factors such as age, education, water quality, entrepreneurial risk factors like (production risk and price risk) and psychological capital, were found to be statistically significant and have the potential to influence the risk factors of the respondents and subsequently increase urban agriculture participation ultimately leading to increased incomes. The study results also show that majority of the respondents were farming to ensure food and nutrition security at a household level due to food and economic hardships, while only a few of the participants were farming to sell at the market. Even with those who were selling at the market, they found that the costs outweighed the benefits and were somewhat not motivated. The study, therefore, concluded that farmers need more information on the safe use of WW in agriculture. There is also a need for the farmers to develop their risk awareness in UA, and how to better manage the risk. Enhanced risk management strategies will ensure continued income generation and also invoke the “entrepreneurial spirit” necessary to become a successful entrepreneur. The study further concludes that youth involvement in UA is essential as the majority of the participants were elderly, who are mostly subsistent farmers, while young farmers weren’t motivated enough to go into agriculture. Key words: urban agriculture, entrepreneurial risk, water polices, water quality, food security, principal component analysis, entrepreneurship, logit regression.
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    Investigating the impact of the National Red Meat Development Programme in improving household food security and the perception of farmers on grass biodiversity in uMzimkhulu local municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2022) Peacock, Sibongiseni.; Naidoo, Krishna Denver.; Dube, Sikhalazo.
    The study aimed to investigate the role of the National Red Meat Development Programme on household food security and grass biodiversity in rural areas at uMzimkhulu. Self-administered questionnaires achieved this for all the 77 smallholder beef farmers under the St. Paul feedlot project between July and September 2021. Lived experiences of the farmers were identified, characterized, and presented into themes. This is a phenomenological study using a mixed research approach. Data analysis was conducted using the Household Food Insecurity Access scale (HFIAS) developed by the USAID to determine St. Paul feedlot beneficiaries' household food security status, and descriptive statistics were used to assess farmers' perception of grass biodiversity loss in the study area. The study findings reveal that the majority (80.50%) of the beneficiaries were food insecure while 19.50% were food secure. Food insecurity was mostly associated with farmers who were unable to sell their cattle or those whose cattle were not ready to be marketed when bureaucratic obstacles such as inadequately funding of the programme, lot of red tapes in policy implementation, Service Level Agreement (SLA) not signed on time and lack of integration of government departments supporting the programme. Farmers have indicated that feed challenges were the main constraints to the programme. The feedlot will spend most of the time without the feed, at some point there was not operational cash to purchase feed and treatment. Therefore, farmers lost opportunities to earn an income due to such challenges. Most of the farmers perceived that there was a grass biodiversity loss in the area. Chi-square results show a significant difference (p = 0.001) between gender and factors that threaten grass biodiversity. Most of the farmers report that climate change is a threat to biodiversity. The study indicates that farmers are aware of the grass biodiversity loss, and their perception is that livestock and rangeland burning is one of the main causes of this biodiversity loss. However, most of them indicated that they feel like they were not informed about biodiversity loss, but they can notice it. The programme to be effective in addressing food insecurity and grass biodiversity the SLAs must be signed on time and budget must be given a greater attention to prevent facilities to have shortages of feed and treatments. Efficient budgeting for the programme will allow it to be sustainable and be able reduce food insecurity and grass biodiversity loss. The marketing platform for the output in the programme need to be revisited because the classification system used in South Africa’s formal markets do not favour cattle from smallholder farmers. And there is a need of efficient capacity building for smallholder farmers for the management of cattle before it is sent to the feedlot and cattle breeds and age required. The government needs to intervene by reducing red tape in policy implementation and revise the tendering system used in procurement of agricultural products. Moreover, the programme needs to implement a policy that accepts younger animals in the custom feedlot. Keywords: biodiversity, communal area, food security, HFIAS, National Red Meat Development Programme
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    Assessment and determinants of household food security status in the Umzumbe local municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2023) Zabuloni, Byamungu Lincoln.; Mudhara, Maxwell.; Chitja, Joyce Magoshi.
    Although South Africa is a nationally food-secure country, this is not the case at household and individual levels, where food insecurity is unacceptably high, particularly in rural areas, where many households struggle to meet their own food needs. In order to address the food insecurity and poverty challenges in the rural areas of South Africa, the Department of Agriculture has been promoting home and community garden programmes to increase the food production of poor and vulnerable rural households. This study aimed to assess the level of participation of households in the food garden programmes and the factors affecting their access to them. In addition, the study evaluated the effect of these two programmes on the household’s food security status and their determinants in the uMzumbe Local Municipality. As home and community garden programmes have been widely implemented in all the municipality wards, this study applied a simple random sampling method, in order to give all the wards a chance of being selected. The purposive sampling method was used to select the village samples from the wards, in which both the home and community garden programmes have been implemented. In order to collect data, a structured questionnaire was administered directly to 223 household respondents out of 1792 households within three sampled wards. The results of the study showed that the level of participation of the households in the food gardens implemented was very low (23.8%). About 13%, 10.3% and 0.45% of respondents participated in home garden, community garden, and a combination of community and home garden programmes, respectively. The Logistic model results indicated that factors, such as livestock ownership (p=0.067) and extension services (p=001), positively influenced the participation of households in the community garden programme, while the farm size (p=0.008), the purpose of farming (p=0.068) and the total income negatively affected their participation. In contrast, the farm size (p=0.026), the purpose of farming (p=091) and the extension services (p=0.001) positively affected the participation of farmers in home garden programme. The results revealed that both programmes were ineffective for improving the food security status of households in the uMzumbe area. Their food security status was positively impacted by the total income (p=0.001), extension services (p=0.04), credit access (p=0.067), age, farm size (p=0.024) and education level (p=0.091), whereas it was negatively influenced by the household size (p=0.001), as well as the size of the home gardens (p=0.046) and community gardens (p=0.032). The study indicated that the implementation of the home and community garden programmes was not enough, in and of itself, for improving the food security status of those living in the uMzumbe area. Therefore, it is recommended that factors, such as income generation, credit access, educational and extension services, should be considered for improving the participation in, and effectiveness of, the home and community garden programmes, and for improving the food security status of residents in the uMzumbe Local Municipality. Key words: home garden, community garden, uMzumbe Municipality and food security
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    Understanding the effect of nutritional knowledge, dietary intake, physical activity and assessing the anthropometric measurements of Dlangezwa high school learner's.
    (2022) Gumede, Noluthando.; Naidoo, Denver.; Du Preez, Cornelia.
    The purpose of the study was to understand the effect of nutritional knowledge on physical activity, dietary intake, and anthropometric measurements in high-school learners. The study further underscored the value of healthy eating habits and nutritional education in relation to adolescents' overall health. The aim of the study was to understand the high school learners' nutritional awareness, determine their dietary consumption, assess their anthropometric measurements, and analyze whether high school girls are physically active or less active. A total of 202 survey questionnaires were administered to teenage girls, from grade 10 to 12, who were purposefully selected to participate in the study. In-depth interviews were undertaken with various learners in order to evaluate their food consumption and dietary habits. We measured weight and height to determine body mass index (BMI). The growth reference data chart for ages 5 to 19 from the World Health Organization (WHO) was used to assess the weight classification of learners. Inference about the collected data was made using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings of the study showed that there was a strong association between age and food group consumption (p < 0.001), which indicates that age has a significant effect on diverse food intake. Hence, it was noted that, as the learner's age increases, their food consumption also increases. It is noteworthy that the intake of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables was noticeably poor for all the grades. With regard to consumption percentage, spinach and amaranth leafy vegetables were consumed at a rate below 2%, while consumption of vitamin A-rich vegetables such as butternut, carrot, beetroot, etc., was at a rate less than 5% amongst all the learners. Other vegetables, like cabbage and eggplant, were eaten at a rate of less than 30%. The intake of sugar from chocolate, candy, and fizzy drinks such as soda and tonic water was significantly high for all learners. In general, confectionary sugar intake was 85% of all grades. Also, the rate of fat consumption by learners ranged from 48% to 72%, with grades 10 and 12 having the highest percentage of fat consumption, ranging around 72% and 53%, respectively. From the results of the study, it could be stipulated that learners studying in lower grades, such as grade 10 learners, have better nutrition knowledge and dietary intake when compared to grade 12 learners. Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements indicated that the majority of learners are overweight, which was positively linked to the age of the learners at 25 kg/m2 or higher for females aged 0 to 19 years. The research found that as the age of learners or grade level increased, so did their BMI. The involvement of learners in all physical activities was tracked, and the percentage of participation was generally low in all grades, ranging from 1–26%. Physical activity participation, duration, and frequency all decrease as grade level rises. Generally, it could be inferred that as far as age is concerned, teenagers are at risk of becoming overweight and obese because they are not vigilant about their diets, so they eat high-fat content foods and sugary foods. On the other hand, the students consumed fewer fruits and vegetables and were not physically active. The findings reveal prevalent nutrition awareness in the grades, but also found a higher proportion of overweight students than is recommended. Programs from the government, community, and parents are required to encourage adolescent girls to improve their diet, level of physical activity, and weight control.
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    Environmental management of urban farming and water quality: implications for food security.
    (2022) Mthuli, Nqobile Confidence.; Chitja, Joyce Magoshi.; Ojo, Temitope Oluwaseun.
    Urban farming, in its small scale comprises of various production systems and practices that can lead to poor soil conditions, water pollution and the extension of climate change impacts. Moreover, smallholder farmers are in turn challenged by climate change impacts including heavy rainfall, high temperatures, hailstorms and pests exacerbated by the lack of knowledge, institutional support, governance framework, limited financial resources and technology. As a result, farmers are vulnerable to urban farming and environmental risks that affect the farmers’ food and nutrition security. On the other hand, if done well, urban farming (UF) can benefit the urban environment through flood water mitigation, water infiltration and greening of the environment, while improving food security. The study was conducted in the communities of Sobantu, Sweetwaters and Mpophomeni, in KwaZulu-Natal. This study employed a mixedmethods research approach, which combines quantitative and qualitative analysis. The quantitative approach used a survey questionnaire to elicit responses from 78 urban and periurban smallholder farmers who were purposefully selected to participate in the study. Focus group discussions and field observations were used to collect in-depth qualitative data about the challenges urban farmers faced in urban farming. Additionally, the logit regression model was used to identify factors that influence the farmers adoption of urban farming management practices. The study revealed that the majority of the farmers were faced with environmental problems including poor soil conditions, water quality and access problems and climate change impacts, of which had an impact on crop yield and farm profit. Furthermore, results showed that 69.2% of farmers were aware of the environmental implications of urban farming. However, it was found that due to the farmers limited financial resources, farmers identified urban farming mainly as a source of income and a strategy to obtain extra food and less for the benefit of the environment. The study found that market availability (p=0.003), training on soil management (p=0.0011) and access to credit (p=0.097) were significant factors in the adoption of urban farming practices. The study further revealed that the farmers adoption of urban farming and water quality management practices were challenged by socio-economic and institutional factors such as the lack of knowledge, farmer training, access to markets, access to credit and poor extension support. An environmental management framework was provided to address the challenges that hinder the smallholder farmers adoption of urban farming and water quality management practices.
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    A case study of female smallholder farmers in Kilmun, KwaZulu-Natal: examining the role of indigenous knowledge systems to climate change in increasing agricultural output and food security.
    (2021) Dludla, Qophelo Sinenhlanhla.; Naidoo, Denver.
    Climate change affects all four dimensions of food security: food availability, food accessibility, food utilisation, and the stability of food systems. Climate change risk reduction is one of the twenty-first century's primary challenges. Climate change is expected to have a severe impact on Africa's food security and ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Its impact on Africa that rely on rainwater agriculture and have little means to mitigate and adapt to climate change is likely to be quite severe. Climate change risk management solutions include both mitigation and adaptation. Climate change and global food insecurity are inextricably linked. The quantitative data were collected by semi-structured questionnaires, while the qualitative data were collected through a transect walk and PRA tools. The objectives were to (i) ascertain smallholder farmers' perceptions of climate change risks; (ii) ascertain the implications of climate change and variability on agriculture, and (iii) ascertain the critical role of indigenous knowledge systems in agriculture for climate change adaptation. The findings revealed that indigenous knowledge that has been used and practised sustainably for centuries makes a significant contribution to climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as food security, according to the researchers. The findings of the study should be of particular relevance to climate change specialists who are already trying to develop a sound response to climate change. In the face of global climate change, policymakers must draw on the most up-to-date information available.
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    An analysis of the value chain participation and profitability of smallholder irrigators in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2021) Ngcongo, Siyanda.; Mudhara, Takudzwa James.
    Smallholder irrigation farming is perceived as a transformative approach to poor rural households as it improves livelihoods and alleviates poverty. However, most smallholder irrigators are characterized by poor value chain participation because they lack market information and infrastructures such as bridges, good roads, and storage. Therefore, these constraints end up affecting their profitability. The study's objectives were: to identify actors involved in the value chain of smallholder irrigators, determinants of smallholder irrigators in the agricultural value chain, and level of participation, and to identify factors affecting the profitability of smallholder irrigators. Probability sampling involving a simple random sampling technique was employed to select 243 respondents from two irrigation schemes, namely, Tugela Ferry and Mooi River Irrigation Schemes (TFIS and MRIS) located in Msinga Local Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Multivariate probit model, Double-hurdle model, gross margin statistics, and multiple regression model. The study used STATA and SPSS computer software to process the data. The study identified seven actors involved in the smallholder irrigators value chain: input suppliers, producers, collectors/hawkers, wholesalers, retailers, consumers, and value chain supporters. Value chain activities that farmers primarily performed were cleaning and sorting. The multivariate probit model results indicated that educational level, household size, transport reliability, market information, and farming experience significantly influence farmers' choice of market outlets for their produce. Further, econometric results showed that age, access to credit, extension service, access to roads, and livestock ownership significantly determine smallholder irrigators' value chain participation. Further, age, livestock ownership, land size, labour, credit access, and exchange of produce significantly influenced the extent of smallholder irrigators' value chain participation. The study's profitability results show a positive result for gross margin, indicating that smallholder irrigators generate sufficient income' on average' to sustain their livelihoods. The multiple linear regression analysis results revealed that age, land size, access to credit, extension service, packing cost, and tractor hire had a direct relationship with the profitability of smallholder irrigators. The study recommends the improvement of the input supply system, creation of organisations or groups in order to facilitate marketing of produce surplus, strengthening the linkage/interaction among producers value chain actors, training of farmers through workshops, seminars, strengthening extension services, demonstration farm plots is essential and expanding the accessibility of market infrastructure and supportive institutions.
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    The acceptance of indigenous leafy vegetables and their contribution to household food security in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, South Africa.
    (2022) Zulu, Sinethemba.; Ngidi, Mjabuliseni Simon Cloapas.
    The dietary shift from indigenous leafy vegetables to cash crops production and consumption increased the risk of micronutrients deficiency diseases, especially among rural-poor communities. The less consumption of ILVs promotes hunger and food insecurity among rural and urban households. An increase in consumption of these leafy vegetables helps minimize malnutrition, hunger, and food insecurity. Each ILV contain different levels of micronutrients, suggesting that diversifying ILVs in consumption has the potential to reduce health conditions associated with micronutrient deficiency. Therefore, understanding consumer acceptance of indigenous leafy vegetables (ILVs) is important in enhancing their consumption levels to increase micronutrient intake. However, the determinants of consumers' acceptance of ILVs, vis-à-vis its potential impact on household food security, is neglected by researchers, as a result, declining. This study was set out to assess the determinants of acceptance of indigenous leafy vegetables by consumers in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. The study used secondary data that was collected by the South African Vulnerability Assessment Committee in 2016. A total of 1520 respondents were selected from the two provinces using a multistage stratified sampling method. In analyzing the determinants of consumers' acceptance of ILVs, a seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) model was employed. The results of SUR showed that the gender of the household head, marital status, HIV status, wages/salary, and grants were statistically significant in influencing the acceptance of ILVs by consumers. The study further revealed that amaranth and cleome were the most accepted leafy vegetables while blackjack was the least accepted one. Education and marital status had a negative influence on the acceptance of all leafy vegetables being investigated in this study. While estimating the impact of ILVs consumption on household food security, the household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS) was used to determine the household food security status of the respondents. In the same vein, the endogenous switching probit model (ESPM) was employed to estimate the impact of ILVs consumption on household food security status. The results from the household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS) showed that a large proportion of the population was food secure while a small portion of the population was food insecure. The correlation coefficients rho_1 and rho_ 0 in the ESRM were negative (-0.992) and positive (0.970), respectively. This indicates that self-selection occurred in the consumption of ILVs between both consumers and non-consumers of ILVs. The results from descriptive statistics revealed that most consumers did not produce ILVs but consumed them. While a small number of farmers produced ILVs yet did not consume them. The household size and wealth index variables were positive and significant to the consumption of ILVs. On the other hand, age, gender, and education variables had a negative influence on the consumption of ILVs. To increase the acceptance of ILVs, especially the least accepted ones. The study recommends that extension officers must educate farmers about the importance of these leafy vegetables. NGOs can provide agricultural input such as seedlings, fertilizers, farm machinery to encourage the production of underutilized ILVs among smallholder farmers, including blackjack. Strategies to enhance value addition and sensitization of consumers to traditional knowledge regarding leafy ILVs, and their nutritional importance to the human diet are required.
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    Impact of commercialization of indigenous crops on household food security of smallholder farmers in Limpopo Mpumalanga provinces, South Africa.
    (2021) Zondi, Nonkululeko Thandeka Brightness.; Ngidi, Mjabuliseni Simon Cloapas.
    Indigenous crops have been the main source of food for many rural communities. However, colonial economies and post-independence development systems placed greater emphasis on the production and consumption of cash crops, introduced foods that led to the displacement of indigenous food crops and caused subsequent changes in the diet of African people. Due to increasing consumer awareness of the dietary importance of indigenous crops, their demand is increasing with some consumers indicating a greater willingness to pay premium prices. This study estimated the impact of commercialization of indigenous crops on household food security of smallholder indigenous crops farmers in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. The study was conducted in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. A sample of 209 indigenous crop producers was drawn out of 1520 analysable sample sizes of the total number of smallholder farmers. In analysing factors influencing the decisions and extent of indigenous crops farmers to participate in the market, a household commercialization index (HCI) was used to estimate the commercialization level of the indigenous crops farmers and subsequently, a double-hurdle with fractional response model was employed to estimate the factors influencing the decision of indigenous crops’ farmers to participate in the market (first stage) while fractional response model (FRM) with quasi-maximum likelihood was employed to assess the extent of market participation in the second stage. The results showed that off-farm income, gender, a family with an HIV infected person as well as market information access influenced the farmer’s decision to participate in the market. Market access and household size on the other hand influenced the extent of commercialization. It was then recommended that much support and attention should be provided to women’s involvement in the market participation. Also, the government together with other stakeholders need to channel their support towards these smallholder farmers through organising cooperatives within them. Furthermore, the study evaluated the impact of the commercialization of indigenous crops on the household food security of smallholder farmers. The descriptive analysis, Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) and Poisson regression model (with endogenous treatment model) were used to analyse the findings of the study. It was revealed that extension services, marital status, household size and a member living with HIV positively influenced the household food security of smallholder farmers and were significant. It was concluded that there is still an improvement and a lot of work to be done to diminish the escalating number of food insecure smallholder farmers. Furthermore, it was recommended that the government should intervene through the provision of trained extension officers so that they can assist smallholder farmers to overcome their challenges. Policymakers should develop policies that primarily represent the interests of smallholder household food security of smallholder farmers since the current policies make little mention of the impact that indigenous crops’ commercialization has on their food security status. The participation of smallholder farmers in the marketing of produce can play a critical role in meeting their goals such as food and nutrition security, poverty alleviation and sustainable agriculture. This study found that the market participation and sales ratio of smallholder indigenous crop farmers are constrained by numerous factors, such as socioeconomic, market and institutional factors. The commercialization of the indigenous crop for smallholder farmers in the market was affected by gender, educational level, off-farm income, agricultural information, and a member being infected by HIV. The household size and market access were found to highly influence the extent of commercialization among the smallholder indigenous vegetable farmers. To fully realize the optimum contribution of indigenous crops to household food and nutrition security, support from the stakeholders must be geared towards the smallholder indigenous farmers through the provision of farm training for an effective and efficient grasp of agricultural and marketing information. To improve smallholder farmers’ access to markets, the government also needs to ensure that their support for the production of indigenous crops is timely and well-targeted to upscale its production for consumption and commercialization. Where possible, the government and other stakeholders need to channel their support through organized cooperatives that exist within the smallholder farmers. Much attention and support need to be given to women’s involvement in market participation, and they also need to be empowered by the government and other interested stakeholders to participate fully in the decision making relating to the price of their produce and where to sell it. More workshops especially for young people and women need to be conducted in rural areas to raise awareness on the nutritional importance of indigenous crops and the need to include these indigenous crops into South Africa’s dietary guidelines. Keywords: Indigenous crops; commercialization index; household food security; HCI; Double-Hurdle, Fractional Response model.
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    An evaluation of climate change effect on community gardens crop production aimed at enhancing household food security in Dlangezwa, Umdoni Municipality.
    (2021) Naicker, Merishca.; Naidoo, Denver.; Ngidi, Mjabuliseni Simon Cloapas.
    In South Africa, food security at the household level still remains a major challenge (Stats SA, 2020), despite the various initiative programmes provided by the government to help alleviate poverty among lower-income households. The” One home, one garden’ initiative and the ‘community gardens’ introduced in 2010 have been considered as vehicles to buffer food insecurity at household level. However, lately the province has been experiencing the episodes of climate variations. For example, in 2015 the province experienced drought and flooding spells. This attack brings forth some concern, as the climate change episodes could be deterring the progression of community/household gardens, thus threatening the household food security. The aftermath and or continuing attacks of the effect of the climate variation on crop production in household/gardens, could be aggravating low crop production. The study aimed to investigate the effect of climate change on community garden crop production and the farmers' household food security. A survey was conducted among 120 participants of the community gardens to determine their knowledge, perception, and attitude towards climate change. A series 10 focus group discussions were held to further probe on experiences, observations and the behaviors that the farmers have engaged on as the coping strategies to counteract or mitigate the effects of climate change. Key informant interviews with municipality and the Department of Agriculture officials provided insight into the interventions and measures taken by the local Municipality to mitigate the effects of climate change. Moreover, the key informant interviews, served as the study trustworthiness enhancer, as the data collected from the participants was further verified through these interviews. Only 38.3% of the population understood the meaning of Climate Change, which was the minority of the population. Climate change was understood to be the changes in temperature and rainfall patterns in the area. The perceived outcomes of climate change was the reduction of crops and the water supply in the area. The gardens were affected by the onset of pest , diseases and a reduction of water for irrigation. To overcome these challenges the community gardens relied on the the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) for support. The most planted crop by the gardens was spinach, and the least planted crops were beetroot and brinjal. Crops like spinach have a short growing period and produces large yields, and therefore it was most planted. The minority of 41.7% received enough food from the community gardens, while the majority 58.3% did not receive enough food. It was determined that the majority, 40% of the surveyed population, were moderately food insecure and only 15.8% of the population were food secure. The external help received was mainly from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and not the local Municipality. They receive chemicals, seeds, training, and inputs from the DARD. The issues faced by climate change were the increase of pests and disease, change in planting seasons of crops and the change in temperatures and rainfall patterns. It was concluded that the community gardens have not been successful in alleviating food insecurity among the households. It was recommended that a study be conducted on the improvement of productivity and resistance to climate change in community gardens. They have identified the primary alterations associated with climate change as changes in rainfall patterns and temperatures. Despite their awareness, people are apprehensive and fearful of Climate Change. To overcome this obstacle, the DARD must promote active climate change awareness in the community. This will assist community people in learning about climate change and how to reduce the effects of climate change.
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    Analysing food security status among farmworkers in the Tshiombo Irrigation Scheme, Vhembe district, Limpopo Province.
    (2020) Mudzielwana, Rudzani Vhuyelwani Angel.; Mafongoya, Paramu.; Mudhara, Maxwell.
    Historically, South African rural households produced most of their food. Recently, rural households depend on market purchases, and possibly from neighbours. Currently, unemployment and lack of access to irrigable land, to own or lease, has affected livelihoods patterns of the rural poor, such as farm workers. The lack of financial resources leads to poverty and hinders the ability to purchase food at the household level. This study assessed food security status among farmworkers and land lessees’ households in the Tshiombo Irrigation Scheme, Vhembe District, in Limpopo Province, with 51%.8 food secure, 7.3% mildly food secure, 19.9% moderately food insecure and 20.9% severely food insecure. The study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between rural livelihoods and food security status among farmworker households. A simple random sampling technique was used to select 191 farmworker households. A structured questionnaire was administered, and a focus group discussion and key informant interviews were conducted for data collection. The Binary Probit regression model was used to analyze livelihood diversification strategies among farmworkers’ households. The results showed that the gender of a farmworker (p<0.05), number of farmworker’s dependents (p<0.01), and access to the market (p<0.05) were statistically significant factors that positively influenced farmworker household’s livelihood diversification. However, employment type (p<0.01), years of farming experience (p<0.01) and leasing land (p<0.05) were found to negatively influence irrigation farmworker’s livelihood diversification. The Multinomial Logistic regression model was used to determine factors that influence the choice of livelihood strategy among farmworker households. Regression results showed that age of the farmworker (p<0.01), marital status of the farmworker (p<0.01) and (p<0.5), dependents of the farmworker (p<0.05), leasing land from employer (p<0.05) and (p<0.05), years of farming experience (p<0.1) and (p<0.01), agricultural training (p<0.05) and access to the market, significantly influence the choice of livelihood strategy.The Ordered Probit regression model was used for assessing the determinants of household food insecurity. The results showed that land size (p<0.05) and total household expenditure (p<0.05) positively influence farmworkers household food insecurity. Food stored (p<0.1) and leasing land from employer (p<0.01) had a negative influence on farmworkers food insecurity status. This study concluded that land leasing has the potential to improve food security status and enhance the standard of living among irrigation farmworkers. Therefore, the government, in collaboration with local authorities, should develop and implement effective policies to support farm owners to rent out irrigation plots to their employees as a way of addressing food security.
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    Investigating the indigenous postharvest technologies and practices used in smallholder farming systems, and their impact on food security: the case of Maqongqo, Mkhambathini Local Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2021) Ngubo, Wonder Ntokozo.; Mudhara, Maxwell.
    The sustainability of indigenous knowledge and its use has remained a key challenge in many parts of the developing world. Through the review of substantial literature, the researcher has identified that the indigenous postharvest practices and technologies have not been adequately researched and documented to inform policy formulation and be shared with younger generations to ensure the sustainability of these postharvest practices and technologies. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the Indigenous postharvest technologies and practices used in smallholder farming systems and their impact on household food security. The study had three specific objectives. The first objective was to identify the indigenous postharvest practices and technologies used in smallholder farming systems across different crop types. The second objective was to determine the factors that influence the use of indigenous postharvest practices and technologies. And the third and last objective was to identify the effects of using indigenous postharvest practices and technologies and their impact on household food security. This research study was limited to a group of smallholder farmers in Maqongqo. A total of 120 purposive participants participated in this study. Regarding research data collection, Participatory Rural Appraisal using one focus group discussion, semi-structured and unstructured interviews were held with all key informants, Household Food Insecurity Access Scale, direct observations, and surveys were used to collect essential data from the sample population. Descriptive statistics and correlation tests using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 27 were used for data analysis to summarize and analyze the quantitative data. The responses from open-ended questions from the questionnaire and focus group discussions were analyzed to identify common themes. Results showed that indigenous postharvest practices and technologies were used mainly for processing, preparation of produce for storage, preserving crop harvest and protecting stored harvest from pests. The leading indigenous postharvest practices used are sun drying, winnowing, destalking, hand threshing, shelling and natural field storage. The main indigenous postharvest technologies used in Maqongqo were fibre bags, plastic buckets and cool dry areas, mainly the floor. Farming experience, age, familiarity of the indigenous postharvest practices and technologies, the confidence and faith in indigenous postharvest practices and technologies, and the consideration of preharvest factors has an influence on the use of indigenous postharvest practices and technologies. The use of indigenous postharvest practices and technologies in Maqongqo did not lead to the attainment of food security among smallholder farming households. It is essential to note that smallholder farmers in the current study had various livelihood sources of which all contributed towards their household food security, these sources included income from part-time and full-time employment, income from the sale of the surplus produce, social support grants and pensions. The use of indigenous postharvest practices and technologies on their own as a food security strategy is discouraged. Instead, the integration of modern and indigenous postharvest techniques and technologies is encouraged and recommended to account for the shortfalls of using indigenous postharvest practices and technologies to achieve food security among rural and urban farming households and ensure that the livelihoods of the rural poor are sustainable. Keywords: Food security, indigenous postharvest practices, indigenous postharvest technologies, smallholder farmer, postharvest losses, indigenous knowledge.
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    Farmers’ perception and adaptation to climate change: case study of vulnerable areas in uMhlathuze Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2020) Yende, Abla Nomfanelo Precious.; Naidoo, Denver.; Ngidi, Mjabuliseni Simon Cloapas.
    Global climate change has become a crucial concern, with smallholder farmers in developed countries being the most vulnerable In Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of smallholder farmers cultivate crops and depend on agriculture for food and livelihoods. As a result, smallholder farmers must be mindful of the consequences of climate change and shifting weather conditions in order to implement appropriate adaptation steps. Without adaptation, climate change would have a serious impact on the agricultural development of smallholder farmers. As a result, however, smallholder farmers from Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Africa lack the tools such as infrastructure, finance, information, and technology that could help them survive. The study examined smallholder farmers' perceptions of climate change, as well as the types of changes they have made to their agricultural activities in response to climate change, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, more specifically in the rural region of KwaDlangezwa in the Mhlathuze Municipality. This study employed a mixed-methods approach, which incorporates quantitative and qualitative analysis. The quantitative approach used a standardised questionnaire to elicit responses from 101 smallholder farmers who were purposefully chosen to participate. Qualitative results were gathered by focus group discussions with smallholder farmers in order to delve further into the farmers' views of climate change and their adaptation choices. Additionally, the logit regression model was used to classify determinants (factors affecting farmers') of adaptation to climate change in this analysis. According to the study's results, the majority of smallholder farmers were female (79.2%) and older (49.5% ). The majority of smallholder farmers engaged in crop cultivation for household use (75.2%). Smallholder farmers relied on their indigenous skills when it came to crop selection, planting seasons, and weather forecasting (63.4% ). About 56% of smallholder farmers were aware of climate change, 98 percent perceived a rise in temperature, 46.5 percent perceived an increase in rainfall, and 50.5 percent perceived a reduction in rainfall owing to prolonged drought seasons. The focus group discussions show that smallholder farmers feel climate change is the result of their forefathers' or God's wrath and that they do not understand it. Climate trends have had a significant negative effect on the population of smallholder farmers, including crop loss (99.0% and food insecurity (65.3%). However, 90.1% of smallholder farmers say that they have received no training on climate change intervention, and 96.0% report that they have made no investment in climate adaptation technology. Around 94.1% reported receiving no assistance from extension agencies, resulting in just 30.7% adapting to climate change. They have developed mostly by shifting planting dates, crop diversification, and changing planting dates to both temperature and rainfall changes. Although the Logit regression study indicates that four factors are statistically significant for climate change adaptation. These factors are gender (P=0.028), age (0.038), gross hectares of land (P=0.003), and years of cultivation (P=0.018), both of which are statistically important. Additionally, the study's findings indicated that smallholder farmers faced adaptation challenges such as a lack of knowledge (83.2%) and farm inputs (such as machinery, tractors, and improved seeds) (60.4% ). 98% of smallholder farmers confirmed that climate change has impacted their agricultural operations, resulting in a reduction in farm income for 85.1% of smallholder farmers. The majority of female smallholder farmers (95.0%) indicated that their households lacked agricultural-based food products. Droughts (77.2 percent), price spikes (42.6 percent), and flooding are the primary causes of these food crises (22.8 percent ). According to the focus group discussions, while they are adapting to climate change through indigenous expertise, they believe it will help them to learn more cost-effective adaptation approaches that would increase crop production. It is critical, therefore, to conduct awareness-raising and training programmes to teach farmers about climate change, its consequences, and the necessary methods to employ in response to increases in both rainfall and temperature. Additionally, the government would need to provide inputs for climate change adaptation and expand extension programmes to these areas to ensure continued surveillance after farmers have been trained.
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    Factors influencing the level of vegetable value chain participation and implications on smallholder farming and food security in Swayimane, KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2020) Ndlovu, Phiwokuhle Nqubeko.; Chitja, Joyce Magoshi.
    In less developed countries, smallholder farming is important for development that could alleviate poverty, improve livelihoods, and contribute to household food security. However, Smallholder farming in South Africa is synonymous with a myriad of challenges. Key among them being access to markets. Most of the smallholder farmers in South Africa lack access to established commercial markets because of a lack of or limited access to information, assets, and institutions that can support smallholder farmers to produce for formal markets. This study aimed to introduce and test the Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion (SHEP) model for vegetable value chain development in Swayimane, KwaZulu-Natal. The SHEP model was used to psychologically empower smallholder vegetable farmers to practice market-orientated agriculture while also acknowledging “Farming as a business”. The study aimed at identifying the existing food value chains in the study area along with the different linkages between value chain actors. The study further identified and explored the factors that influence the participation level in the vegetable value chain and implications on smallholder farming in Swayimane. Furthermore, the study explored the impact of participating in agricultural value chains on household food insecurity. Business linkages between farmers and market actors were identified through the practical implementation of the SHEP. The research approach was both community-based participatory and translational research because it involved training of smallholder farmers. The research adopted a mixed-methods methodology where both qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect data were used. The data was collected from a purposive sample of smallholder farmers using a survey questionnaire, baseline surveys, and a semi-structured focus group discussion questionnaire. The data were analyzed using descriptive analysis, value chain mapping, the nehurdle model, and an instrumental variable Poisson model. The value chain map showed that the coordination among value chain actors is strongly influenced by opportunities and constraints such as a lack of access to credit, lack of access to agricultural inputs, water in-security, infertile soils, lack of storage facilities, packaging, poor infrastructure, lack of market information, and price fluctuations Results from the nehurdle model showed that the age of the respondent, marital status, farm income, household size, cooperative, market information, radio, extension officer, and formal education significantly influenced the participation decisions of smallholder farmers in agricultural value chains. The results further showed that off-farm income, marital status, cooperatives, access to credit, access to irrigation scheme, radio, extension officer, contact with non-government organizations, and formal education significantly influenced the level of value chain participation of the smallholder farmers. The results from the instrumental variable Poisson model showed that Value chain participation, marital status, age of the household head, formal education, farm income, lease rent on land, access to NGOs, access to credit, access to agricultural agency, access to extension services and access to irrigation schemes were significant in influencing household food insecurity status of smallholder farmers. It can be concluded that the level of endowment in the physical, financial, and human resources influence participation in agricultural value chains. The farmer’s level of success and improved outcomes are influenced by access to markets. It is recommended that a market-led approach to farmer development be adopted to improve the commercial prospects of farmers while also enhancing food security. Policy should consider empowerment for market access through effective market- based farmer training and the creation of market and business linkages. This study also concluded that value chain participation had a positive impact on enhancing food security among smallholder farmers. The factors that influence the level of value chain participation among men and women farmers respectively in the study area were identified. Therefore, policymakers must take into consideration and understand the influence that these factors have before drawing policies for value chain development. Furthermore, the SHEP influenced the behavior of the farmers to focus on planting crops that were demanded by the market and to keep records while practice farming as a business.
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    Effects of collective action on market participation and food security among smallholder farmers in Msinga Local Municipality.
    Cele, Thobani.; Mudhara, Maxwell.
    Smallholder farmers have little to no access to lucrative markets due to poor infrastructure, lack of government services, market information, and higher transaction costs. The government, policymakers, and non-government organizations (NGOs) have identified collective action as a strategy to address smallholder farmers' market failures, which could ultimately improve their livelihoods, welfare, and household food security. However, there is low participation in collective action by smallholders. Therefore, this study aimed to contribute to literature about the impact of collective action on market participation and food security amongst smallholder farmers. Data was collected using a questionnaire survey from 243 randomly selected smallholder farmers in Msinga Local Municipality. The first objective explored the socio-economic factors that influence household decisions to join farmers’ groups and the intensity of participation by using descriptive statistics, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), and regression analysis. Logistic regression results revealed that age, gender, education, household size, farm size, off-farm income, and extension services had a positive statistically significant effect on farmers' decision to join farmers’ groups. Ordered probit model results indicate that age, household size, farm size, education, and perception about the effect on economic capital positively impact the intensity of participation. The second objective identified household factors influencing the decision to participate in the market and intensity of participation using the double hurdle model. The double hurdle regression results show that farmers’ groups, market information, training, income from livestock, and farm size had a positive and statistically significant effect on market participation. Distance to market had a negative effect on market participation. Farmers' groups, market information, and transaction costs significantly impacted the intensity of market participation. Lastly, the study explored the impact of market participation and collective action on smallholder farmers' food security status using logistic. The logistic model results indicated that gender, age, education, social grant, credit access, market participation, farm size, total livestock unit, and food expenditure positively and significantly impact household food security. Furthermore, the farmers’ groups had no impact on household food security status. This study concludes that collective action has a positive effect on market participation, and in turn, market participation improves household food security status. This study recommends that before forming farmers' groups the government, and NGOs should educate farmers through workshops, training, and seminars about farmers' groups to ensure that they understand the impact of collective action on their livelihoods.
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    Evaluation of the microbial aspect of rural small-scale dairy farmers raw milk handling practices from production to utilisation.
    (2019) Xulu, Nkosinathi Humphrey.; Naidoo, Krishna Denver.; Jamal-Ally, Sumaiya Faizal.
    Milk is an essential source of nutrients for human beings and animals and can provide benefits socially and economically for poor households. Food security, nutrition, livelihoods, resilience and poverty alleviation for poor households are some of the benefits that can be derived from milk production. Although it is an expensive source of energy and the best source of high-quality protein and micronutrients that are essential for normal development and good health for children especially under the age of five. Rural milk producers can benefit from consuming and selling surplus milk to their rural communities at large. However, due to its high-water activity and nutritional value, it serves as an excellent medium for the growth of several kinds of microorganisms under inappropriate conditions which decreases its value and potential in the market. One aim was to analyse a microbial aspect of rural small-scale dairy farmer’s milk handling process from production to utilisation. Also, to optimise and develop an ongoing feedback strategy and workshops to rural small-scale dairy farmers and extension officers and disseminate project information to optimise their rural small-scale farming dairy hygiene management. This study was conducted to assess, isolate and characterise the total bacterial load of raw milk, especially common microorganisms that contaminate raw milk. In addition, assess various chemical adulterants in raw milk produced by rural small-scale dairy farmers; investigate whether the milk handling and practices of rural small-scale dairy farmers affected milk quality. Lastly, to examine the milk handling practices used by rural small-scale dairy farmers from production to consumption in Kwa-Hlabisa villages, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A total of 53 rural small-scale dairy farmers were interviewed, but only 23 rural small-scale dairy farmers who still had lactating cattle were sampled for milk collection. Samples collected for laboratory analysis were 68 milk samples and 48 swabs samples respectively. The laboratory analysis included the assessment of bacterial load, isolation, and identification of bacteria, as well as the assessment of various chemical adulterants from the samples collected. Total plate count, biochemical identification tests and tests for raw milk adulteration samples were conducted. The bacteria in raw milk were also isolated and identified using standard methods. Results showed that the majority of rural small-scale dairy farmers were males, managing their cattle in unclean environments and pursuing extensive grazing systems in the communal pasture area. The mean aerobic mesophilic bacterial counts (AMBC) of raw milk samples analysed were 6.06 log cfu/ml (teats) and 6.91 log cfu/ml (milking container). According to South African standards of raw milk quality, the AMBC have values above the upper limits set. During this study, frequent bacteria isolated from raw milk samples taken from different critical points include Enterobacter aerogenes, Enterobacter gergoviae, Klebsiella oxytoca, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas maltophilia, Pseudomonas mallei, Shigella dysentery, Shigella sonnei, Morganella morganii, Alkaligenes denitrificans, and Xanthomonas. Also, this study discovered adulterants like urea, hydrogen peroxide, alizarin, detergent, skimmed milk powder, sodium chloride, sugar, and glucose were detected in 34%, 32%, 29%, 29%, 15%, 12%, 6%, and 6% milk samples respectively. For formalin, starch and neutraliser adulteration, none of the milk samples was found positive. The study concluded that contamination resulted from incorrect handling practices, therefore, the optimisation of sanitary handling practices to reduce microbial contamination is crucial. An ongoing feedback strategy has been launched. Future work involves workshops with farmers to disseminate project information and improve hygiene management techniques. This will help increase rural and local producer market productivity and consumer confidence, reducing the need for imports. At the same time, this will increase nutritional needs for rural small-scale dairy farmers, villagers, and in turn, the industry will hopefully include these farmers as regular milk producers, thereby enhancing the sustainability of small-scale indigenous farmers.