The study explored determinants of commercialization among selected smallholder potato farmers in Bizana, Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Increasingly presented as a rural development paradigm, the capability of many smallholders to commercialize is questioned. Fifty-eight smallholder farmers were purposively sampled for this study, which estimated farmers’ level of commercialization and identified factors contributing to their estimated engagement with markets. Structured questionnaires were used to obtain primary data from farmers, while reports from published materials were also reviewed. The study utilized the household commercialization index (HCI) and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression model as its main analytical tools. It found a mean HCI of 0.48 among the farmers with 60 percent of respondents below the halfway point to a fully commercialized status. The results indicate varying levels of market engagement among smallholder farmers and underscore the need for caution in adopting a rigid commercialization approach.

Publication Date