Factors Influencing Rain-Fed Agricultural Land Abandonment in Mnquma and Mbashe Municipalities, Eastern Cape
Mzuyanda Christian1, Phiwe Jiba2, Mdoda Lelethu3

1Mzuyanda Christian, Senior Lecturer, Deaprtment of Agricultural Economics and Extension, North West University.
2Phiwe Jiba, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, North West University.
3Lelethu Mdoda, Lecturer, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Fort Hare.

Manuscript received on May 25, 2020. | Revised Manuscript received on June 29, 2020. | Manuscript published on July 30, 2020. | PP: 1213-1219 | Volume-9 Issue-2, July 2020. | Retrieval Number: B3896079220/2020©BEIESP | DOI: 10.35940/ijrte.B3896.079220
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© The Authors. Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

Abstract: Agriculture is one of the imperative segments in the South African economy and it remains the imperative sector for livelihood generation. However, it has been observed that farmers are gradually giving up agriculture in favor of non-agricultural activities. This paper examines the factors influencing agricultural land abandonment in Mnquma and Mbashe Municipalities in Eastern Cape Province. Surveys of 158 semi-structured field interviews were conducted to capture household characteristics, location and farming practices in the study areas. The findings show that limited access to funding, level of education, household size and farming experience seem were the main factors influencing abandonment of rain-fed agricultural land. Another notable reason for agricultural land abandonment was the lack of resources such as storage facilities, transport and access to lucrative markets. Therefore the study recommended that government policies should go beyond supporting primary production and focus also on value adding activities. One of the findings indicated that these areas are dominated by older people (55 years). The study also recommended that focus should be directed on more manageable small plots for older people to increase food production. 
Keywords: Rain-fed, Agricultural land, Abandonment, Probit regression, Eastern Cape.