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Nation in Conversation – Policy Matters

  • 19 May 2016
  • 1949
  •  Nation in Conversation
  •  press-release

Filmed at Nampo Harvest Day in Bothaville, the discussion kept pace with the previous sessions in terms of lively discourse on eminently relevant issues in agriculture.
The panel was of the opinion that South Africa was on the brink of a political shift, and that the agri-sector needed to manage the changes it wants for itself, by itself.
Hamish said we have reason to be alarmed: “We’re in injury time now, in the last ten years we’ve been going downwards in terms of losing farmers and non-investment by farmers...ideally we want to see agriculture growing because the population of our country, and Africa, is growing and someone is going to have to feed everyone.”
The panel agreed that there were some “good policies in place, but the problem arose in the implementation of these policies.” 
Hamish shared information from a presentation he hosted in China on land reform and said that the nine regions in the world that participated in a survey, reported a common reason for failure of land reform as being the lack of private sector partnership in the area of training. 
“In South Africa we have the added dynamic that there is a trust deficit between government, farmers and the private sector. The other two issues the survey revealed that were common challenges to the nine regions, were a need for macro finance and the need for facilitated communication between the different stakeholders. We should learn from this,” said Hamish.
Jannie added that the National Development Plan made provision for 20% transfer of land. “This is acceptable because each year 13% of farm land comes into the market, however finance has not been made available to acquire these farms.”

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