Assessing the ICT-enabled agricultural commodity exchange market and its impact on small-scale farmers in South Africa Takudzwa
Musiyarira, Takudzwa Taurai Christopher
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Pre-democratic South Africa was highly regulated by the apartheid government with the black small-scale farming community actively marginalised. Following the deregulation of the South African agricultural market came the opening up of the market to accommodate these small-scale farmers and also the introduction of South African Futures Exchange. South Africa has done well in terms of development of ICT over the past years, making it a country with characteristics of both first and third world countries. This study aims to assess the agricultural commodity exchange market and how small-scale farmers may participate more actively in the market. This study finds that though South Africa has world class ICT infrastructure this has not made it easier for small-scale farmers to enter the agricultural market and value chain. The study finds that there is little or no participation by small-scale farmers in South African Futures Exchange. It finds that mobile phones and applications may be the way forward in the efforts to ensure their participation in the commodity exchange market through provision of services such as price discovery and price risk management as is the function of South African Futures Exchange. It is also found that there is need to invest in high value agricultural products in order to benefit more from commodity exchanges.