Spatial mapping and analysis of integrated agricultural land use and infrastructure in Mhlontlo local municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa
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The study spatially mapped and analysed agriculture land use and infrastructure requirements in Mhlontlo Local Municipality linked to ASGISA Eastern Cape's agrarian transformation and rural development initiatives. Emphasis was placed on informing ASGISA Eastern Cape's broader rural infrastructure programme in support of agrarian transformation and rural development for the Eastern Cape province. The study approach was participatory, extensively involving discussions with stakeholders, visits to project areas, internal and external workshops and document analysis. The results show that the municipality has a huge potential for agriculture and improved utilisation of available arable agricultural land that still needs to be realised. The poor state of basic infrastructure for
economic and social service delivery remains a key constraint to sustainable and productive agricultural land use and rural development in Mhlontlo Local Municipality. This fi nding tends to hamper the contributions of the rural labour force to productive agricultural enterprises as well as limiting the knowledge base of rural people. This study recommends an integrated approach to rural agricultural transformation in Mhlontlo which requires infrastructure investments with a broader scope that transcends agricultural land use developments. For example, direct agricultural infrastructural investments and activities need to be complemented by investments in social services aimed at reducing poverty and stimulating socioeconomic growth and development of the local municipality.