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2023-05-15 at 14:09 #404677Nat QuinnKeymaster
[Let me clarify a point here. “Commercial Farming” in South Africa and Southern Africa basically boiled down to WHITE FARMING. 95% of it was WHITES – perhaps even more. When they speak about SUBSISTENCE FARMING, they are referring to BLACKS. There are no White SUBSISTENCE FARMERS! This is from a White Commercial Farmers union. As always, Whites are on their own. Whites pay TAX to an ungrateful hate-filled Black Government which, apart from WASTING HUGE AMOUNTS OF IT, also hands over whatever is left to other Blacks. That’s how South Africa really works. Jan]
Agricultural budget does not support commercial farming
Tuesday | 09 May | 2023
Minister of Agriculture Thoko Didiza’s budget for the next year is once again focused, wrongly, more on the development of subsistence farmers rather than on supporting commercial farmers. It is not subsistence farmers who put food on the table of most South Africans but commercial farmers.
Although the Minister believes that this budget will allow the department and industry to “continue to meet the country’s food security needs,” she also mentions that only 9% of agricultural exports are produced by emerging farmers. Nowhere in her address did she refer to how commercial farmers, who have been growing food for years and generations, are being successfully assisted.
“It is tough for commercial farmers to stay positive when the state shows little interest in supporting them, and mechanisms such as Onderstepoort, which are allegedly supposed to support them, fail even to make vaccines available for sheep and horses,” says Bennie van Zyl, general manager of TLU SA.
TLU SA understands that there needs to be an investment in developing new farmers to meet the demand for food and has indeed offered years ago to share knowledge and experience on this matter, but this should not be at the expense of the farmers who are already doing it under challenging conditions.
The investment made to support emerging farmers does not justify their achieved outputs. The department, for example, spent R50 million last year to develop 124 citrus farmers. Yet, they produce only six million of the 128 million boxes of citrus fruit for export.
It would mean far more for the development and sustainability of agriculture if the government focused on assisting commercially profitable farmers instead of “economic restructuring”.
“A budget of R17 billion goes only so far. When the bulk is invested wrongly, it places food security in the balance,” says Van Zyl. “Given that the policy on agriculture is also wrong, it is obvious that the budget will be spent wrongly. We seriously call on the government to move away from the idea of the so-called economic restructuring and recovery policy and rather focus on the market forces that determine the profitability of commercial farmers – and indeed the availability of food.”
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