Any country that wants to experience sustained economic growth and development must make sure that all of its citizens have access to the economy. The purpose of this study was to provide a framework for economic empowerment for the administration of small-scale agricultural processors in South Africa. Globally, the role of agriculture is changing, and this is also true for the agro-processing industry. Since 1994, efforts to close policy loopholes and provide a supportive environment for small-scale agro-processors to participate fully in the formal sector have not produced the expected outcomes. However, the development of a successful small-scale agro-processing industry depends on government initiatives. The South African Agri-BEE Transformation Charter is a policy, however the framework is unclear. Its implementation has not adequately addressed the ongoing issue of small-scale agroprocessors finding it difficult to participate in the formal economy. Even while the South African government has made large expenditures across the board to narrow market gaps in agro-processing, the dominance of a select few massive commercial firms is growing. Whether post-apartheid South Africa’s government policies have changed the inherited agro-processing system to allow small-scale agro-processors to enter the formal sector is the main contention of this study. The issue is whether the previous agro-processing system exists because the government failed to set up an empowerment mechanism that could rectify historical disparities in the agro-processing industry in South Africa. Data were collected from small-scale agro-processors in five South African provinces for the thesis using a mixed-method approach. The information was examined using both descriptive and inferential statistical methods, including correlation analysis, hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis, multiple linear regression analysis, one-way factorial ANOVA, and structural equation modelling. The study found that the internal resource status of small-scale agro-processors is directly influenced by the networks, inventories, and trademarks of organisations. Additionally, capacity building has the biggest impact on the economic empowerment of small-scale agroprocessors. On the other side, factors that support the integration of small-scale agro-processing into the formal economy include transformation and infrastructural tools, time management, output decision-making, interventions and participation, income generation, leadership, and interventions. The study’s findings indicate that business networks and access to markets are both greatly improved by capacity-building. Market accessibility affects income creation and, as a result, the economic empowerment of small-scale agroprocessors. The study also showed that, while current policies, like Agri-BEE, focus on transformation, a business network is a crucial internal resource for small-scale agro-processing firms to participate in the formal sector. In order to help small-scale agro-processing businesses manage their operations more effectively and take part in the formal economy, an economic empowerment framework was created.

Author(s) Details:

Benjamin Manasoe,
North-West University: Business School, South Africa.

Victor M. Mmbengwa,
North-West University: Business School, South Africa.

Joseph N. Lekunze,
North-West University: Business School, South Africa.

Please see the link here:

Keywords: Economic empowerment, framework, agro-processing, small-scale agro-processors, resources, capacity-building, transformation, entrepreneurship, business networks, access to markets, South Africa

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