Youth Agriculture Entrepreneurship: A Tool to Enhance Entrepreneurial Success in South Africa

This study investigated the youth participation in agricultural industry as an important instrument for development and sustainable society. In South Africa, youth participation in agricultural sector has been seen as a serious challenge, let alone their participation in the entrepreneurial activities. This challenge had its implication in various ways in the agricultural value and supply chain. It is difficult to imagine agricultural development without youth development. The development of youth in agriculture guarantees a succession in the leadership of the sector and at the same time it also ensures that enterprises are run efficiently and effectively in a sustainable manner. The aim of the study was to determine factors that influence youth agricultural entrepreneurship in Vhembe district municipality of South Africa, and the main objective was to measure the factors that may influence youth agricultural entrepreneurship success and the extent of their impact. The study used a mixed method design which involves both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The sample size was composed of 235 youth entrepreneurs and the sample frame were drawn from non-probability purposive sampling techniques. Data was collected from a survey using a close-ended questionnaire. Focus sessions were used to collect secondary data as part of qualitative research approach. The study revealed that females constituted the majority of the entrepreneurs relative to male counterpart. These entrepreneurs were found to have basic educational achievements, implying that their capacity to conduct business professionally could be limited as results of low level of skills acumen. Furthermore, the study highlighted that the entrepreneurs under consideration were associated with survivalist entrepreneurship whose business approach was less complex. This research revealed that entrepreneurial factors were significantly positively correlated with each other. It concluded that the youth entrepreneurs in this sector lack important requisites for them to succeed in commercial enterprises. It further reveals that capacity building around technical skills may be required to ensure that these entrepreneurs are efficient and effective in carrying out their duties. In addition, it uncovered that the youth entrepreneurship in this sector were mainly survivalist who operates in environments such as school and home gardens with very marginal that are found in commercial farming and cooperatives. The outcome of the study implies that youth entrepreneurs in this sector should be mentored to be interested in commercial agriculture. In order for them to have an interest in this sort of ventures, they need to be having access and insights into farming commercial operations. It appears that the value which the study adds in the body of knowledge is on the development of an effective youth agricultural entrepreneurship development program.

Author(s) Details:

Victor Mmbengwa,
Department of Agricultural Economic and Animal Production, University of Limpopo, South Africa.

Xiaoshun Qin,
Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL), University of South Africa, South Africa and ACASA (Association of China-Africa Small-Holder Agriculture), South Africa.

Virginia Nkobi,
DFAS Center Pty Ltd., South Africa.

Please see the link here:

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, agricultural industry, youth participation, commercial agriculture

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