African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6688

Full Length Research Paper

Choosing between agricultural development projects in the North West Province of South Africa: A multiple criteria analysis

Johannes Daniël van der Merwe1*, P. C Cloete1 and H. D van Schalkwyk2
  1School for Environmental Sciences and Management, North West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa. 2North West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 28 May 2012
  •  Published: 17 July 2012



In the light of past development failures, coupled with the pressure on government to deliver on their promises made towards agricultural development, a need was developed for a framework to assist government in choosing between agricultural development projects in the North West Province, consequently assisting government with their budget allocation towards agricultural development. Consequently, detailed agricultural development plans were drafted with the intent to provide a framework or roadmap that will enable small-scale farmers to be more successful over the long term. With a government that is often faced with strict budget constraints, budget allocations to agricultural development initiatives should be done in a way that will yield the highest economic, social and environmental returns. Hence, a decision support system that will guide budget allocation for agricultural development initiatives is sorely needed. This article provides a framework on how multiple criteria analysis can be used as a decision support tool that will ensure optimal budget allocation for agricultural development. Findings from the study concluded that the beef production (based on a joint venture business concept and linked to the Western Frontier Beef Beneficiation program) is one of the most viable and sustainable agricultural projects in the North West Province. Following beef production is vegetable production which makes use of the contract grower concept, goat meat (Public Private Partnership), grain (joint venture), veldt management and the Taung Irrigation Scheme which employs contract farming.


Key words: Agriculture, development, multiple criteria analysis.