Behind some of the policy proposals and discussions on land redistribution in SA is a persistent notion that the country should establish “small-scale farms” so there can be more participants and an increase in productivity. This view was shared by some participants at a conference organised by the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape on February 4-5. What we drew from the discussions is that this notion of small-scale farms arises from the perception that most commercial farms in SA are large-scale and perceived to be inefficient compared to their smaller counterparts, implying that large-scale farms should be capped and subdivided. What the proponents of the small-scale farms notion often forget is that small-scale family farms have been the dominant form of farming in SA commercial agriculture since the early years among all racial groups. The general wisdom in SA regarding farm sizes is that most large-scale commercial farmers ar...

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