Choosing between agricultural development projects in the
North West Province of South Africa: A multiple criteria
Johannes Daniël van der Merwe1*, P. C Cloete1
and H. D van Schalkwyk2
for Environmental Sciences and Management, North West
University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa.
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Accepted 28 May, 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.
Agriculture, development, multiple criteria analysis.