The smallholders of Lebowa are not idealists farming for the good of the nation; they are
farn1ing for survival, and any plan for the agricultural sector must be jn harmony with the
hopes and aspirations of these farm people. The conceptual background was build around Mosher's philosophy of areas with different growth potentials and the Lebowa goverments declared developrnent policy. Following these guidelines, an attempt was made to divide Lebowa into three area types according to different growth potentials. The rnethodology of the division of areas was adjusted to place more emphasis on the human factor.
Smallholders were divided into two groups: Group A (Immediate Growth potential areas)
and Group B (Future and Low Growth potential areas). Group A farmers were found to be
more settled with stronger traditional structures and are generally speaking more satisfied with the present state of affairs. They enjoy higher welfare levels. They are generally more conservative but sometimes also more rational than Group B fanners.
The smallholders have little knowledge on the ecologically possible carrying capacity of
grazing and their aspirations are unrealistically high. Non-traditional leaders regard lack of incentives, for example too small arable fields, inadequate markets, credit etc. and the
subsistence base of the present social order; as major causes of low productivity. They
generally have a very low opinion of traditional leadership. The level of rural off-farm
employment, especially for Group A, is low and compares unfavourably with many African countries. A large variety of crops is grown and intercropping is common. In stock fanning, the smallholders have demonstrated positive response to price changes
both in numbers and in percentages of stock sold. Overgrazjng is a growingg problem, and the pursuance of a. production oriented extension programme is in danger of being counter-productive, because this enables smallholders to build up larger herds. This is likely to occur as long as arable and grazing land is communal or free, even if agrict:ltural productjon will be significantly directed towards the market. Livestock is perhaps the only investment alternative open to many Lebowa farmers. This suggests that alternative investinent opportunities must be created. This will require modification in the direction of flow of capital between different sectors by creating opportunities to invest in agricultural and agro-based production or financial institutions. Extension efforts should concentrate more on livestock quality which, coupled with progressive farming practices should lead to reduced livestock numbers.
The low level of market orientation can partly be explained by underdeveloped marketing
and credit institutions.
The Lebowa smallholders and their non-traditional leaders gave a clear tnandate for land tenure reform. The traditional leaders are iil many respect more progressive than popular belief will suggest, but are hesitant in this regard.