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Evaluating the impact of Lima rural development foundation on the land reform policy in light of changing the livelihoods of previously disadvantaged people in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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The focus of this study was on land reform programs executed by LİMA Rural Development Foundation that specifically targeted agricultural activities and smallholder farmers in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal. The overarching aim of the study was to evaluate the extent to which LİMA used the land reform programme as a strategy to alleviate poverty, reduce unemployment, and upskill smallholder farmers in Hammarsdale for sustainable farming endeavours. The study adopted a qualitative research approach using in-depth interviews as the main data collection instrument. Eleven participants were interviewed. Nine participants were drawn from smallholder farmers as land recipients and two staff members were drawn from LİMA as representatives of the organisation responsible for the land reform program in the Hammarsdale area. The findings of this study revealed that LİMA, as a non-governmental organisation, had the skills and expertise to support land recipients and thus render them successful farmers. However, LİMA lacked vital resources and support from government to sustain their land reform programs in Hammarsdale. For these reasons, land recipients could not be given the necessary support and equipment to ensure their success and sustain their livelihoods. The inability of LİMA to sustain land reform programs in Hammarsdale due to a lack of infrastructure and financial support meant that some cooperatives and smallholder farmers failed to sustain the agricultural production initiatives that they had embarked on. The study argues that due to the small sizes of land redistributed and owned by current landowners, smallholder farmers are unable to grow sustainably or compete in larger agricultural markets. The study recommends that government and NGOs devise a more detailed and specific framework that will operationalise skills development, training, and financial support for new farmers, improve farming infrastructure, and procure machinery to enhance the existing skills of smallholder farmers so that they are enabled to farm sustainably. The study also proposes that government should facilitate the accessibility of smallholder and emerging farmers to larger commercial markets through the development of a detailed framework that will compel larger market agents and role-players to support these farmers. This study further recommends that relevant government officials should demonstrate the political will to sustain NGOs who have the expertise and skills to support emerging farmers and to assist them so that they may continue their support for a skilled and thriving smallholder farmer community in Hammarsdale.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.