I am no expert, but somehow NO ONE seems to come up with a suggestion to solve the stalled situation regarding land ownership, farming and the loss of productivity should the farms are either taken by force (loosing lives etc…).
The government’s BEST PLAN seems to be around two options; either take land by force, or trying this willing-buyer-willing-seller concept which will fail our country 100%..!
There are TWO sides to this and I HAVE to be understanding of BOTH sides. The one claims ownership of previously stolen land in a time when we were not even born. The other claims that due to the fact that they were either born on the land, or BOUGHT the land during apartheid times, and they worked the land and thus they are now the rightful owners of this land and should not be held responsible for past’s mistakes that caused the current situation. The latter is also more interested in correctly valued monetary value in return of ownership of land.
It angers me that there is no real effort from the one party that is in the middle of all this, the government’s lack of commitment to study and properly answer this problem that will cause more harm to our nation.
I may have ONE solution. The solution revolves in relocating the current land owners to the city centres, while at the same time food security is STILL achieved.
The main issue we have is that we STILL farm in the same manner we did in ancient times, albeit more mechanised..!
We need to change with the times. We have a technology that could sort or at least PARTIALY accommodate a solution.
That technology is called Hydroponic Farming. Why should we use technology to solve our social issues? Because we are humans, we are inventive and it’s simply what we do in almost every aspect of our lives, so why not in farming?
The idea is: A large block of flats that is either derelict or can be bought at a bargain (and there are many – just think of all those empty block of flats rented by our “wonderful” Government departments only not to ever use it). This block of flats would be reconfigured, and fixed to Accommodate Hydroponic Farming. A closed-circuit for water circulation, enclosed and controlled environment for cultivating plants. Etc etc.
The main idea behind Hydroponics is that plants do not need ground to grow, they can grow if their roots are simply submerged in water.
One can read more on this over the internet should you want to get more familiarised.
But imagine that the farming families bought cheap houses in the city centres across South Africa using Government-sponsored funding that would make this project a reality. They would relocate in the city centres, and their new farms would be within these hydroponic-Farming Buildings. They would go every day to work in the city centre. They would bviously be trained in the new way of farming.
There advantages AND disadvantages. These are the main ones:
Some of the reasons why hydroponics is being adapted around the world for food production are the following:
· No soil is needed for hydroponics
· The water stays in the system and can be reused - thus, lower water costs
· It is possible to control the nutrition levels in their entirety - thus, lower nutrition costs
· No nutrition pollution is released into the environment because of the controlled system
· Stable and high yields – this means that you can have MORE harvests per year than in a normal farming environment.
· Pests and diseases are easier to get rid of than in soil because of the container's mobility
· It is easier to harvest
· No pesticide damage
Today, hydroponics is an established branch of agronomy. Progress has been rapid, and results obtained in various countries have proved it to be thoroughly practical and to have very definite advantages over conventional methods of horticulture.
There are two chief merits of the soil-less cultivation of plants. First, hydroponics may potentially produce much higher crop yields. Also, hydroponics can be used in places where in-ground agriculture or gardening are not possible.
Without soil as a buffer, any failure to the hydroponic system leads to rapid plant death. Other disadvantages include pathogen attacks such as damp-off due to Verticillium wiltcaused by the high moisture levels associated with hydroponics and over watering of soil based plants. Also, many hydroponic plants require different fertilizers and containment systems.
On normal farming the following are the main disadvantages:
· Bad years
· Soil becomes unusable, and hence there is need for nutrients (big kaka being dumped lol)
· On-going fighting over land ownership
· Farm killings
I am sure there are more than this…
Should this ever become true, we’d see the city centres of the future South Africa provide the nation’s foods and even DELIVER them within their own areas thus no need for MORE expenditure to deliver them through various other channels, and thus costs could be held back from that perspective as well..!
I am not saying that this is the answer to all, but I AM saying that if I am not an expert, how come those that are supposed to find solutions have not even mentioned such possibilities???
I would like to challenge South Africans to come up with solutions for South Africa’s shortcomings, and for nation-building keeping EVERYONE in focus when attempting to find solutions.
Or at least table some of them, and if we have growing voices we could petition these governmental departments with such ideas and perhaps the little movement we could have would then sway and accommodate those that are in need of solutions.
We need to come together and BRAINSTORM AS A NATION, and find these solutions. For the sake of a multi-racial future for all our children.
Perhaps if one could either inbox me on facebook to fund a website where we can put all these ideas down and allow for public participation in debating ideas for various aspects of our country’s problems. We could make this website available to the departments involved and lend them a helping hand in creating solutions.
I don’t care who comes up with the ideas, I care for a better South Africa.