SCAMPI-South Africa is a collaborative research project funded by GCRF AFRICAP, examining the economic and ecological interactions between neighbouring large-scale and small-scale producers. The majority of agricultural land and crop production in South Africa comes from large-scale commercial farms, but the majority of farms and of farmers operate on much smaller land-holdings. These two aspects of the country’s agricultural sector may grow overlapping sets of crops and livestock, but often use very different management practices. Nonetheless, they may exist side-byside and interact strongly with one another, through agrichemical drift, movements of pests, pollinators and biocontrol agents, and through flows of labour, income and food. We will bring together agricultural ecologists and social-scientists to study how these flows, and how they affect the productivity and human welfare in the different farming systems.
Specifically, SCAMPI-South Africa aims to: (1) Select a set of locations where large- and small-scale agriculture are carried out side-by-side; (2) Record crop and livestock production methods in farms differing greatly in size and setting; (3) Survey agricultural pests and diseases, biocontrol agents, soil quality and mycorrhizae in these contrasting sets of farms, (4) Survey farmers, farm labourers and their families to assess how agricultural decisions are made and their consequences for human welfare; and (5) work in collaboration with AFRICAP’s modelling team to explore future scenarios for farms size and rural livelihoods in South Africa.