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Nation in Conversation takes aim at The Importance of Economy of Scale: Big vs small

  • 17 May 2018
  • 1510
  •  nation-in-conversation

The consensus was that there is a dual economy in South Africa with smaller farmers and subsistence farmers servicing the informal market and big commercial farmers servicing the formal retail market and in many cases the SADEC and international markets as well. Ferdi Meyer sketches this scenario in the discussion.

Francois Strydom mentioned that it was important for small farmers to aggregate their production and find a way to the correct markets. “However a big challenge in this regard is infrastructure or the lack of it, we need to get Transnet operating well again.”

Inevitable the conversation, as with most of the topics discussed on the show during the week thus far, turned to title deeds. “For a small farmer to become profitable they need to use technology. You can hand-plant and hand-harvest up to about 3hectares effectively, after that you need mechanisation. But the problem is the small farmers don’t have access to finance because they don’t have title deeds,” said Jannie de Villiers.

Francois added that he was not in favour of subsidies. “Our farmers increased their productivity after subsidies fell away. This is an indictment to their ingenuity.”

Theo took the discussion on an interesting trajectory when hen closed of the programme by asking each of the panellists what they would do if they were minister of agriculture and received a call from the president asking them for their advice. 
To find out their answers, tune into the show by following the links on

Theo is put on the spot when Jannie asks him for his views on how the conversation has evolved since Nation in Conversation was first aired six years ago. 

“I think we’re close to a solution, I think the conversation has centralised now.”
Don’t miss this exciting and thought-provoking instalment of Nation in Conversation.

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