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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Development Southern Africa
Title The role of land-based strategies in rural livelihoods: The contribution of arable production, animal husbandry and natural resource harvesting in communal areas in South Africa
Volume 18
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2001
Page numbers 581-6
URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03768350120097441
The majority of South Africa's rural population resides in the former homelands. Although cash from urban and government sources is the mainstay of the rural economy in many areas, the multiple and diverse livelihood base of rural households is not widely recognised. This diversity includes the land-based strategies of arable farming, livestock husbandry and consumption and trade in natural resources. This article examines recent and emerging literature from a livelihood perspective in terms of the role and value of each of these three land-based livelihood sectors. We conclude that the contribution of land-based activities to rural livelihoods is important in both financial and social terms, and is probably greater than previously appreciated within the whole gamut of livelihood strategies adopted by rural households, including transfers from formal employment and state pensions. We examine the policy implications of this for land and agrarian reform in South Africa.

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