Die Identifisering en ontleding van risikohoudings, risikobronne en risikobeheermaatreels van graanprodusente in die bedieningsgebied van Sentraal-Suid kooperasie
De Beer, Coenraad Hendrik
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Grain producers in the service area of Sentraal-Suid Coopearative are, like all agricultural producers, exposed to several forms of risk that influence their farming activities and to a varying degree, threaten their farming enterprises. The negative effect of risk does not only influence farmers, but it also poses a threat to the prosperity of Sentraal-Suid Co-op and the communities of Swellendam and Heidelberg as a whole. This exposure to risk has increased in the inconstant agricultural conditions of our time, placing the profitability of grain production in the magisterial districts of Swellendam and Heidelberg in growing jeopardy. This situation demands a first hand knowledge of the application of risk sources and risk management strategies. In order to identify the risk attitudes, risk sources and risk management strategies of grain producers in the service area of Sentraal-Suid Co-op, a postal questionnaire was sent to 179 grain producers who had on average cultivated more than 100 hectares of wheat, barley and canola over the past five years. In response, 95 questionnaires (53% of the 179) were returned and processed. The results showed that the majority of grain producers in the service area of Sentraal-Suid Co-op are averse to risk. They tend to avoid risk and will only undertake those projects which according to them have a high success probability. The majority of producers agree that the nature and extent of risk poses a threat to the existence of their farming enterprises. The majority believe that risk management strategies do not provide sufficient protection against the risk of grain production. They also admit to their lack of sufficient knowledge and information regarding risk management strategies. Changing weather conditions and variable grain prices were identified as the major risk sources, having the greatest influence on grain production. Financial management and the establishment of supplies and reserve funds were identified as the most important risk management strategies available to grain producers. Diversification, low cost production practices, reduction in the extent of grain production and proper financial bookkeeping and management practices were identified as the risk management strategies most employed by producers.