|dc.description.abstract||Large amounts of taxpayers' money have been invested in agricultural development
initiatives in South Africa, but unfortunately most of these initiatives have not been
successful. This has increased pressure on government departments to deliver on their
promises, as more and more productive agricultural land has been virtually taken out of
production. Most of the past development initiatives have simply become poverty traps,
which has added to the economic hardship already experienced by most people in the rural
regions of the North West Province.
Based on the afore-mentioned, the need for a framework or decision support system that will
improve the success of agricultural development in the province is acknowledged. Several
studies have concluded that the development of workable business plans can serve as a means
to improve the success of agricultural development, provided that it gives a guideline that
will incorporate policies, institutions and mobilise resources that will improve the success of
Thus, the first part of the study entails the identification of agricultural opportunities in the
province. A detailed review of the study area provides the basis for the identification of
agricultural opportunities in the province. In addition, field workshops that were arranged
according to the SWOT methodology were held in each of the local municipalities. This was
done to obtain a better perspective of the potential opportunities as well as factors inhibiting
agricultural development in the province. The workshops were also used to determine which
business concepts could be employed to successfully exploit the identified opportunities.
From this, a business plan for each opportunity could be drafted.
However, workable development plans can only improve the success of agricultural
development once they are implemented. This turns the attention to another dimension of
agricultural development, with government that are often faced with strict budget constraints.
Thus, budget allocations to agricultural development initiatives should be done in a way that
will yield the highest economic, social and environmental returns. A multiple criteria
analysis (MeA) model was developed in the second part of the study to assist government
with budget allocation towards the identified opportunities.
Following the principles of the MCA, the identified opportunities are ranked according to a
set objective i.e. to improve the welfare of the province and at the same time conserve the
natural resources of the province for future use. From the results, it is concluded that beef
production is most likely to yield the highest return in terms of the set objective, followed by
vegetables and goat meat production.
It could be concluded that MCA is a decision support tool that can assist government in its
budget allocation decisions. Moreover, the identified agricultural opportunities namely Goat
Hotel, Milk Cow Hotel, Goat Meat, Broilers, Beef Production, Animal Feed, Eco tourism,
Veldt Management, Taung Irrigation Scheme, Vegetable Management, Grain Production and
Perennial Crops are likely to improve the success of agricultural development in the province.||en_ZA