Monday, 19 March 2007

S Africa: Agricultural melt down

‘SA headed for permanent food shortages due to ANC-policies"

March 11 2007 - Rapport newspaper today cites five top agricultural economists, all warning that the country's agricultural sector is on the point of collapsing due to the ANC's marxist "black-peasant-only" land-rights policies.

The country's food-producing sector is now stagnating so seriously under ANC-rule that hundreds of rural towns have practically depopulated, with the rural economies on the verge of permanent collapse.

South Africa now already needs to routinely import an annual 1-million tons of wheat or more -- just to feed its own population. Only ten years ago, the country was one of the world's most reliable major exporters of food grains and other important agricultural products such as meat and poultry.

Economists warn that the ANC "does not see our agricultural production as a priority" -- pointing out that in spite of the current nationwide, devastating drought, --the worst in a decade -- the regime still slashed its agricultural budget to R2,28-billion and is refusing any disaster aid to the dwindling number of commercial farmers who still manage to produce food.
In 1992, there were more than 57,000 commercial farms, now there's far less than 40,000 remaining -- and another 20,000 "white" commercial farmers also face forced removal by 2014 from their productive farms under the ANC's marxist "black-peasant-farmer-only" policies.
Commercial farmers who know they are facing forced removal from their land to make way for black peasant farmers, are also not reinvesting any more capital into the rural economy -- and for the first time in its recorded 350-year history, South Africa is no longer raising enough food each year to feed its own population.

Before 1994, South Africa's commercial farm-owners were for the most part, professional, well-organised and top-educated businessmen who poured all their earnings back into the agricultural economy -- and who also employed and housed 1-m farm workers -- some 200,000 more than are employed in the SA agricultural sector today.

"Small-scale peasant farming is an economic failure...'

Dr. Mohammad Karaan, chairman of the National Agricultural Marketing Council, also warns that the ANC-regime's marxist-style "small-scale" farming model is proving to be an economic disaster -- and that it must be urgently scrapped. "Small-scale farming cannot succeed in the world economy, farmers actually need more land to be able to compete successfully -- which is one of the reasons why the (ANC-) land-reform policies are failing," he warned.

Yet the ANC-regime keeps plowing on with its disastrous policy -- regardless of all these warnings from top experts.

The regime just announced that it is going to hand over yet another 30% of all of the country's agricultural land to small-scale black farmers by 2014 . This represents 26-million hectares of currently-productive farmland where 12,000 commercial , highly-productive "white" farmers are facing forced removal. This important farmland will be 'transformed' into unproductive subsistence smallholdings for (agriculturally-inexperienced) black families, warns Dr. Chris Jordaan, Transvaal Agricultural Union's landrights manager. Economists warn that this disastrous policy is already causing a massive drop in local food production.

Prof Johan Willemse of the University of the Free State says South Africa a decade ago was self-sufficient -- exporting massive quantities and a large variety agricultural products and had enough affordable food for all the 46-million population. Now the country has to important at least one million tons of wheat annually as a matter of routine because its less than 40,000 commercial farmers simply can no longer produce enough. By 2015, this production will have been halved when 20,000 more commercial farmers are forcibly removed..."Our previous independence in local food production is now facing serious a most threat,and our agricultural economy is stagnating because the commercial farmers have no economic incentive to reinvest as they always did previously."

Rural ghost towns:

Agricultural economist Prof. Johann Kirsten of the University of Pretoria warns that "if the government wants to stop agricultural villages from turning into ghost towns, it will have to intervene."

Emotional land-rights issue:

Agricultural leaders warn that the ANC-regime is using the emotional "land-rights" issue to drive their political engine with -- instead of accepting the advice from a Harvard-group of international experts report to parliament last month that the country's agriculture, mining and manufacturing industries had to be nurtured as the main engines which were driving the SA economy.

Prof. Nick Vink, University of Stellenbosch agricultural economist warned that agriculture won't be able to grow without new investments -- yet the agricultural sector in South Africa was stagnating."Ten years ago, South Africa exported R2,40's worth of homegrown agricultural products for every R1 of imported goods. We now are past the R1,40 mark -- and if this continues at the present pace, our agricultural economy will soon reverse itself (permanently).",,752-795_2081597,00html

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