The concept of the Farmer Support Programme (FSP) is one of serving and supporting all small farmers, so that they can be more efficient in competing in agricultural resource markets and gain better control over their own destiny. Using the preliminary results from the DBSA's evaluation reports of the FSP's in Venda, Lebowa, KaNgawe and Kwazulu, this paper shows the possible effects the FSP strategy have on farmers farming on small farms of between 1 and 4 hectares. This is done by comparing farmers using the FSP services and those who do not. The paper concludes that the FSP strategy has positive effects on farmers operating on small areas of 1 hectare or less, but these effects can be increased by ensuring farmers' access to more secure arable land. In addition, improved marketing structures, favourable price policies and institutional change are important requisites. It is also argued that the FSP is not a deliberate strategy to perpetuate black farmers as the FSP contributed significantly to the economic well-being of the small farmers. Finally it would appear that presently and even in the post-apartheid South Africa the sustainability of the FSP's will depend on land reform and institutional change, price policies and improved marketing systems.
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