Seeds of Hope: Agricultural Technologies and Poverty Alleviation in Rural South AfricaMercatus Policy Series (2006)
AbstractDespite having the largest economy in Africa, many of South Africa’s citizens grapple with poverty. For rural residents especially, poverty is pervasive, and hunger a very real threat. Government efforts to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and other rural residents are slow to bear fruit. Monsanto South Africa addresses these needs with its Combi- Pack, a box containing enough maize seed, herbicide, and fertilizer to plant ¼ hectare of maize. Combi-Packs are part of the phenomenon known as marketing to the “bottom of the pyramid.” Large corporations design and sell products and services to very low-income consumers, billions of individuals who as a group have substantial purchasing power. Farmers in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces who use Combi-Packs along with no-till, or minimum-till, agriculture have increased maize yields, which is helping to alleviate poverty. Furthermore, Combi-Packs combined with no and minimum till agriculture have had beneficial effects for the environment, reducing erosion, and conserving water. Combi-Packs will not solve all the problems of rural poverty. Land tenure insecurity, high banking costs, and rigid labor laws continue to plague the farmers.
- South Africa,
- property rights,
Publication DateSeptember, 2006
Citation InformationKarol C. Boudreaux. "Seeds of Hope: Agricultural Technologies and Poverty Alleviation in Rural South Africa" Mercatus Policy Series Vol. Policy Comment No. 6 (2006)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/karol_boudreaux/2/