News24

Farmers could become extinct: Agri SA

2012-09-03 22:23

Pretoria - Commercial farmers could become extinct in the near future, Agri SA deputy president Theo de Jager said on Monday.

"The average age of a farmer is 62 years. This means we are going to become extinct. Somehow we have missed the generation of new entrants.

"This spells danger. We need more entrants from young people," he told the SA Agricultural Outlook conference in Pretoria.

De Jager said a study conducted by Agri SA showed that in 1994 South Africa had 120 000 farmers compared to 37 000 at present.

"We are to be blamed too. We have not made this profession sexy enough. It is not cool to be a farmer. We need to rectify this in a short space of time," he said.

De Jager said Agri SA had already started visiting schools to educate the youth about the agricultural sector.

Young people had yet to understand that the agricultural sector involved a variety of skills in different fields including science, labour, finance and engineering.

He said the decline in the number of farmers could also be blamed on the collapse of agricultural colleges.

De Jager said young people were not going into the agricultural sector because farming had not been profitable in South Africa in recent years.

South Africa lagged behind other emerging economies in research and development in the agricultural sector because of the shortage of young people, he said.

However, De Jager said the decline in the number of farmers was a global phenomenon caused by farmers growing bigger to have the advantage of the economy of scale.

Both the government and private sector had not done enough to attract young people into farming.

De Jager said ageing farmers could not take new opportunities created by the new forms of land ownership.

He said the government should consider involving farmworkers in its land reform programme, because they already had experience in farming.

Comments
  • smellarat.smith - 2012-09-03 22:40

    How about treating the farmers like an asset? You know, so that we could all potentially have food on the table.

      donovan.jackson.37 - 2012-09-04 00:18

      Farmers welcome + highly respected in New Zealand. Farming community of a little over 110 000 produces enough food for 20 million people. The world's 8th largest dairy producer - lots of land available. And no fierce creatures. #lookintoit

      maree.cassie - 2012-09-04 07:28

      @kolobe: People like you are what is wrong in this country. Don't you know where your food comes from? Don't you know that when they stop farming your food cost will go up more than doubled? Don't you know that their exports are what keep money coming in to the country? Learn something about a topic before you make such idiotic statements!!

      deabreu - 2012-09-04 08:08

      Never mind, if Woolworths were to sell the food, white people will soon be chased out their stores like they do to their employment policies. Check our their facebook page www.facebook.com/woolworthsSA and be prepared for very angry ex-shoppers. http://www.sapromo.com/features/item/310-racist-woolworths-sa-defiant

      louiseroger.higham - 2012-09-04 08:09

      Exactly but these morons can't see that far ahead.

      lee.vanrensburg.9 - 2012-09-04 08:10

      this is the beginning of the end... welcome to ZIM!

      dewalds3 - 2012-09-04 09:03

      Blip, you really are one dumb @ss! Your communist training is cfailing big time, bru. Look North and become a bit more wise, you fool!

      zambezi.river - 2012-09-04 09:56

      I'd say now is the time to become a farmer. Common sense wud tell u that fewer farmers mean higher prices.I'm gonna enjoy my farming!

      Havokreeka - 2012-09-04 12:44

      Who wants to become a farmer when the government sings songs like "KILL THE BOER"? Who wants to become a farmer, when the masses just want to perform a "land grab"? Who wants to become a farmer when when it's easily the most dangerous job in South Africa?

  • mohamed.dodakia - 2012-09-03 22:51

    soon there will be a food shortage if this is not remedied

      jo.barton.92 - 2012-09-04 06:53

      Mohamed,we are already experiencing that. A lot of farms that were taken, have not been prductive. There is a lack of experience in management. Food doesn't just grow by itself, farming is an art initself.

      johan.vanhoff - 2012-09-04 07:39

      I USED TO FARM WITH LUZERNE BUT DUE TO ESCOMS TARRIFS IT NO LONGER PROFITABLE.

      Hugh - 2012-09-04 07:40

      Agreed for there have been a lot of firsts in SA since the ANC has taken over. One of those is the drop in food production. But One thing I noticed was not mentioned by Mr.De Jager That was farming being more dangerous than sky diving or being a race car driver or surfer. All trades listed by insurance companies as being high risk occupations.

  • dericslab - 2012-09-03 22:55

    It would also help if the ANC lovers stopped targeting and killing the existing Farmers.

  • mark.a.fysh - 2012-09-03 23:04

    The SA Government unfortunately treats Commercial Farmers as necessary enemies. We are seen as an encumberance to politically stated goals and therefore a national embarrasssment to stated ANC policy. A boil to be lanced, no less.

      carpejugulim - 2012-09-04 06:25

      Rustic add to that you have little to no chance of bonding a farm through a bank because banks see farming as a high risk occupation. Sadly there are plenty with farming experience but lack the funding and have no chance of getting funding

      dean.polley.3 - 2012-09-04 07:29

      Around 48 pregnant Drakensberger cows were left to starve to death during the past month at the Mpumalanga government's farm Athole, near Ermelo, Beeld reported on Friday. The animals were part of a herd of stud cattle on the farm, which has been set aside for developing farmers. Members of the police's cattle theft unit, and the SPCA arrived on the farm on Thursday after they had been informed about the neglected animals. Within viewing distance of the farm's offices and living quarters, there were five rotting carcasses on the ground, while at another location, several cows had become mired in a swampy area and been left to die. "It was horrific to see. The animals must have suffered enormously before they died," an anonymous witness told Beeld. When workers were questioned, they said they had tried in vain several times to speak to the farm's managers about the lack of cattle feed. A large portion of the budget for the government farm, situated between Ermelo and Amsterdam, was allegedly used for the World Cup Soccer tournament in 2010, it was reported. Bheki Nyathikazi, spokesperson for the provincial department of agriculture, told the paper on Thursday night that he had not been aware of the problem. "The department will investigate," he said.

      mark.a.fysh - 2012-09-05 00:25

      @carpejugulim. Fortunately, banks are still pretty accomodating towards agriculture - mainly because we have plenty of fixed assets. The problem is to be able to get enough seed capital of your own, because in a start up, banks will only fund a %. This is the biggest problem for Farm Mangers, for instance, to try to branch out on their own. I guess if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it! A tough business, but living 2 minutes from work (no traffic!) and doing your own thing has its rewards, I can tell you.

  • rodney.bevan.58 - 2012-09-03 23:18

    I would love to run a farm in SA, I just don't have a death wish and with the level of farm murders, that's exactly what will happen. Farmers need armed protection, those targeting the farmers should be executed without appeal, they are not only killing farmers and their families, they are putting the rest of the country at risk of starvation.

      sheik.mohammad.378 - 2012-09-03 23:55

      We as a nation can not keep increasing the population without stepping back and looking at how we are going to feed these mouths. A type of self inflicked final solution.

      jo.barton.92 - 2012-09-04 06:59

      @Chum scrubber, I agree. Education is starting to reach out to most middle class Blacks as the ones I work with are all aware that large families are part of the problem. But this concept is also changing with Indian people as well. But our biggest problem lies with the uneducated and there far too many of them. Also add the fact that a lot of rural Black girls are raped daily. Just read the news and you will see for yourself. Is the ANC a problem? Yes they are as they should be doing more to protect their citizens.

  • atholl.canterbury - 2012-09-04 00:15

    Youngsters prefer 'arcade action'. Invent a sexy computer game where the farmer shoots at trees and animals and is rewarded with money that grows on trees.

      dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-04 02:53

      Thats a good one.

  • melissa.vosloo.37 - 2012-09-04 00:24

    How about the ANC stop calling for the farmers to be killed. You become a farmer you become an enemy of the gov, free to be tortured and hacked to death. Most young people would not like to be brutally tortured and gangraped before being hacked to death with a panga.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-09-04 06:45

      Sad thing is they fight so hard to be allowed to sing the song. One wonders if the ANC has any honesty left in it, they try to say the song does not mean what the words extremely clearly say. To cling to something so destructive does not make sense, except that of an ideological weapon. Atually, its not sad, its disgusting.

      johandebeer - 2012-09-04 22:37

      Chum, I agree. The mind boggles.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-09-04 01:26

    Unfortunately a rapidly \dying\ breed in more ways than one.. Over 4000 farmers have been murdered. Reminds me of a Genocide.

      gerhard.debruijn - 2012-09-04 08:18

      Really blip? How many? Where do you get your figures from? These corrupt police, do they produce food? Do they protect the food producers? What are they actually doing?

  • bjanks - 2012-09-04 02:01

    @songezo, Can you tell me how many repo-farms have successfully stayed in operation? That's right almost 4 Call! You cant blame whites for that one... Your just opportunists who want something for nothing but can't make nothing out of something. Those farmers made Something out of nothing and until we see land reform use people you make something out of nothing we might have a little faith in it but actions speak loader than words!

  • EricksonTL - 2012-09-04 03:21

    Isn't that Malema's master plan though? Aren't the majority going to get the land? Surely you realise that they plan to EAT the land, right? Because land under your a$$ is like money in the bank... except it can't buy you bread. Don't panic farmers - come to Canada - they have special concessions in their immigration policies for people who want to start farming! Even though they have 20 million LESS people and ten times MORE land, they realise that more farmers equals a better economy. Morons will be morons, and it's not likely to change as long as the ANC are in charge.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-09-04 07:11

      Land on its own can be money in the bank though. I live directly opposite a gutted land reform farm. Nobody even lives on it yet alone farms it. It was apparently used as collateral to borrow money to build a shopping centre - not sure how, I thought land reform farms did not give the owners title to the land? About 50% of farms in the area I live went to black communities - none (zero, niks!) have been farmed at all - for 8 years nogal, in a highly productive area. (They were prime farms as well) Recently they are being rejuvenated - by guess who, a white farmer - there is now some sort of deal between the beneficiaries and the new farmer. So they'll gain a bit out of the land once again in production, but the white farmer will be the main ou - and one wonders, why take the land in the first place?

  • ilse.slater - 2012-09-04 04:27

    This farm killing is a reality that we are facing ! I'm 24 years old and would love to farm organic goods and i do have the knowledge and will power, but after experiencing 2 of my closest friends and their family being murdered for a telephone and some small change. I can't see myself wanting to get killed for an unselfish act of providing good quality food to others !

  • klaas.waarzegger.7 - 2012-09-04 04:50

    Theo, In a sence you are fighting a lonley battle, I have to take my hat off to you and admire your persiverance. Keep apllying the pressure someone will have to start listening someday!

  • don.mug.3 - 2012-09-04 05:43

    THEO THANKS, GVT MUST ACT ON FOOD SECURITY.

  • don.mug.3 - 2012-09-04 05:57

    TENDER SCOUTS

  • samuel.weller - 2012-09-04 06:50

    How about the farm killing, dont you think that is why farmers are giving up and not passing it on to their sons, instead they sell up and move on or get killed, make farming safer!!!!!

  • graeme.stockwell - 2012-09-04 06:51

    We have millions of young farmers just waiting for the government to steal a farm from a 62 year old white and give it to them fully functional and equipped for nothing. This is not an accident this is a carefully orchestrated scheme by the ANC to "redistribute" the farms

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-09-04 07:05

    Actually, as a ex farmer I must say, it is less economically viable to farm that one thinks. We were not there to feed a nation, it was a way of life and a living. Now that tradition is gone and the land stands idle. (we were also taxed around every corner). It is, as discussed, a lonely and dangerous occupation now. Living behind barbed wire, alarms, etc, and seeing animals slaughtered ....they kill a R40000 cow, for a leg and leave it to die? The goverment has paid in excess of R60 million per farm, (not to us) in the Cradock area, for pecan and mohair farms, they are rotting. Even when you 'give' the farm to the labourers, it become derelict. Mostly. There is a fundamental 'gap' between farming and understanding that it is a business ne?

  • roy.abbott.963 - 2012-09-04 07:11

    Malema: That is fine we do not need any Farmers for anything. They must all leave South Africa. If we need food we will go to Checkers or Pick n Pay and buy it.

      sello.kobe - 2012-09-04 07:19

      Hahaha!

      dewalds3 - 2012-09-04 09:23

      Only Woolies for me!

  • malcolm.mansfield.10 - 2012-09-04 07:13

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71656?oid=286116&sn=Detail&pid=71656

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2012-09-04 07:23

    The solution will have to be in many forms. Like land reform - why not rather deal with it in a way that actually produces black farmers, rather than just an ideological political weapon. Rather educate young black people who want to become farmers, then purchase land for them on the open market. Assist them to help them find their feet, if they pass the test, give them title to the land. I wonder how many young black people actually want to farm though, most young people are normally money and status driven? Most of the black farming projects in the area I live are worked by older people and women. There are successful black farmers in our country, but almost all got going on their own. It seems been given something for nothing gives people the mindset that no effort is required to keep that something. I'm sure all the land reform failures have been very bad in terms of building black pride and self belief. It certainly is not a good way to market your race as one to admire. The ANC needs to teach its followers pride and self respect, it is failing dismally in this regard.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-09-04 07:43

      There is a lot of merit in what you say, HOWEVER. Just near me here, there is an area called "Farmersfield". 75 houses, loads of land etc. The new farmers were supplied with everthing they needed, including how to do things, although they were all ex farm labourers, so they knew a lot anyway. Well.....2 years later, the land lies fallow, the younger people have gone and all that is left is the older women, ekeing out a living on grants, and begging the neighbouring farmers for food. One neighbour offered to till the land and plant vegetables for them, to eat and sell. They refused. They said they did not want to work and that the government were supposed to do this for them. R100 million spent on magnificent land, dams, road infrastrucuture everything, all for nothing. Oh, and a perfect place for hiding 'skelems' now. Sorry. So many farmers have given up, who can put up with cables being stolen? Rape, murder, and wild, and domestic game being slaughtered? Who is prepared to live with fear? I agree with you, re children, you cannot give 'children' something for nothing, you are not teaching them any values if you do. I can go on forever with examples, but its boring?

  • dean.polley.3 - 2012-09-04 07:29

    Around 48 pregnant Drakensberger cows were left to starve to death during the past month at the Mpumalanga government's farm Athole, near Ermelo, Beeld reported on Friday. The animals were part of a herd of stud cattle on the farm, which has been set aside for developing farmers. Members of the police's cattle theft unit, and the SPCA arrived on the farm on Thursday after they had been informed about the neglected animals. Within viewing distance of the farm's offices and living quarters, there were five rotting carcasses on the ground, while at another location, several cows had become mired in a swampy area and been left to die. "It was horrific to see. The animals must have suffered enormously before they died," an anonymous witness told Beeld. When workers were questioned, they said they had tried in vain several times to speak to the farm's managers about the lack of cattle feed. A large portion of the budget for the government farm, situated between Ermelo and Amsterdam, was allegedly used for the World Cup Soccer tournament in 2010, it was reported. Bheki Nyathikazi, spokesperson for the provincial department of agriculture, told the paper on Thursday night that he had not been aware of the problem. "The department will investigate," he said. SAPA

      Salome Luella Potgieter - 2012-09-04 08:13

      I saw something on Tv about this..drives me f¥€king crazy!!!

      richard.wynne.332 - 2012-09-04 11:51

      and that's how the whole country is being run

  • Zahir - 2012-09-04 07:29

    Anc destructive policy on land is following the Zim model the UN will donate food parcels to SA in future like the rest of Africa

  • dawie002 - 2012-09-04 07:30

    Yes, what do you know

  • sarel.brits - 2012-09-04 07:36

    I don't see any problem with that, Malema and most of the Fat Mama's in the Parliment eat way to much pap anyway.The ANC started on the road let's see where it end's.

  • richard.zanner - 2012-09-04 07:57

    @Blip I think you need to re-think your philosophy about farming. To depend on imported food and paying in Rand, nobody will be able to afford to eat anymore.

  • demi.davidson.18 - 2012-09-04 07:59

    malema said he would make country ungovernable. he is succeeding, has started with the mines. SA is becoming (almost already is) an inhospitable country.

  • elizemare - 2012-09-04 08:10

    Eish ja ignorance is a bliss!!!! Damm idiots!!!!

  • steph.lombard.7 - 2012-09-04 08:19

    @Blip. Where do you think the Kenyan coffee, Ghanaian cocoa, Sri Lankan tea etc comes from? Manna from Heaven? It's grown on a FARM - idiot. Do you not think other countries may be interested in what's grown in SA?? Moron.

  • frans.delport - 2012-09-04 08:21

    And once again, totally ignore the fact that more than 4000 farmers have been murdered, typical liberal bs, head in the sand tactic, come one, who are you fooling De Jager?

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-09-04 09:20

      Its not liberal, de Jager is not liberal, he's a realist. He measures his words, he knows the bigger picture. The debate sparked by his remark opens up all the other issues we have now brought up.

  • John Peter Steyn - 2012-09-04 08:23

    Farmers are hated and demonised by their own government. The ANCYL is constantly urging violence against farmers. There is a real threat that their farms will simply be seized by the ANC in the future. Who the hell would want to be a farmer?

  • sisie.indola - 2012-09-04 08:28

    The comrades will only be happy when the land lies barren, all mines belong to the comrades, there are no whites in this country and we are no better than any other African country on the continent - then they will say their job is done. Unfortunately they can't see further than their own noses - today is today and tomorrow who cares. Then they will have start this country from scratch and all those comrades who have reaped the benefits of the coffers will be sitting on some tropical island - no sorry there are no big malls where they can show off their name brands - so make that New York or Paris showing off their wealth for all and sundry, and they will have a good life, while the people left to build the country again will be scratching their heads thinking "Eish" and the begging bowl will come out fast because nothing will be able to be done without money.

  • francois.dewet - 2012-09-04 08:31

    Mr de Jager is just trying to be politically correct in this article or he is surely blind to the obvious in this country! "The average age of a farmer is 62 years. This means we are going to become extinct. Somehow we have missed the generation of new entrants" Farmers have not missed a thing. The cANCer is this country and their hardened supporters are to blame for the lack of new entrants though violence, corruption, lack of education, BEE, AA, Land redistribution (forced land removal from Whites), farm murders, torture etc!! If I was an 18 year old, and have lived in a violent country where ALL farmers are targeted the way they are, I would not want to be a farmer either! Why work towards something, make it a success and then stand a chance of being tortured and slaughtered or your farm being taken away by the Gov and given to someone based on colour?? If there was roughly 18 000 attacks on Farmers since 94, with roughly 1500-3000+ murders, why would I even consider such a profession where my wife and my kids are also going to be targets of torture, rape and murder? Mr de Jager, don't fool yourself and other Farmers in this country by making them believe that they are at fault here. The cANCer of this country is to blame for their planned violent "takeover" of farmland ever since 94! You really think all those fires on farms are started by the sun?? It's premeditated by the masses!! You either need to wake up or step down!!

      FeebleGastro - 2012-09-04 08:35

      AGRI SA is so politically correct they achieve sweet blow FA. TLU is much more realistic.

  • desiree.halse - 2012-09-04 08:34

    Interestingly it could be that common property farming which fosters small growers could mean more people becoming farmers of a different kind..see the development of small growers insugar cane in KZN. This gives more employment and spreads income. Regarding yield? Remember the green revolution in th '50 's in china where productivity by peasant farmers exceeded that of large mechanized farms? Perhaps having a sense of being stake holders is the key...

  • lee.theron.9 - 2012-09-04 08:35

    Well who would want to be become a farmer only to get killed. Those that have taken over farms have no idea what they are doing and have run them down to the ground. The article is diverting the real problem which I think many of us know what that is.

  • apepler1 - 2012-09-04 08:50

    Farmer = Death........Sad reality in this country for our new and up coming ....Rather opt for a stable environment......

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-09-04 09:46

    In todays times, I would'nt be a farmer is you offered me the best piece of the land in the country. I take my hat off to the farmers. The work from dust to dawn, every day they must wake up and wonder if their family will be safe for one more day. Living one day at a time. This is not a life for anybody. They try to help others and they get bitten by the very hand that feeds them. The problem is the ANC continues to promise free land. Whats the use of free land if it cant be utilised properly. People want free land, free farm equipment, free labour to work the land free this free that. What country in the world offers just about everything free to their citizens, only here in south africa, and certainly they are trying to see if they can be the first free nation to do just that. When it fails, and it is just around the corner, who is going to build this country up again. These free loaders are not going to get up off their backsides and work again.

  • amelia.basson - 2012-09-04 10:15

    He says the proffession is not sexy or cool enough??? Being a FARMER IN SOUTH AFRICA ... is one of the MOST DANGEROUS JOBS IN THE WORLD!

  • bradley.kecskes - 2012-09-04 10:43

    Are you kidding me!!!?? any one with two brain cells under stands how important farming is....America was born from farming, our country needs to be feed!!! with that being said i think people are too scared to do farming...you now why.

  • nkanyiso.brilliant1 - 2012-09-04 10:56

    I wish the Kzn Mec of agric can see as De jager,I see lot of comments are out of the topics, what is they are commenting about is not even mention.I am a young men that studieded agric extension but we are doing a lot about agric but no recognition abt it.so I agree with Da jager that they are many of us who like agric but not given a chance and um further studying.here in south africa we will end uping in GM seeds for food.

  • richard.wynne.332 - 2012-09-04 11:44

    that and the ANCYL (ANC)sing songs like 'shoot the boer', they are causing genecide, farmers are getting murdered. wont seem like a great idea when they go hungry (like the rest of africa) have to beg from the west too.

  • wt.echoridgetimes - 2012-09-04 12:33

    I am sure the 37 000 Farmers are all from Bethal. We are quite over populated!!! lol

  • willie.viljoen1 - 2012-09-04 12:54

    Dit is waar dat die boerdery industrie besig is om dood te loof en dat in die nabye toekoms daar nie meer boere gaan wees nie, maar dan uit ondervinding uit, hoekom moet ek boer as ek my plaas gaan verloor deur grond eise, ek voel om die probleem op te los moet grond eise nou gestop word want daar gebeur niks op die grond nadat dit geneem is nie, nog n voordeel sal wees as die jong boere van vandag bietjie ondersteuning ontvang van die regering deur gesubsideer ook word soos in die VSA en ander lande.

  • mfana.khuzwayo.1 - 2012-09-04 13:07

    Forgot to mention a number of farmers killed in Farm crimes, whereby nobody gets arrested.

      eleanore.hill - 2012-09-04 15:15

      Yup,its not really inspiring knowing as a farmer irrespective of who you are, your chances of being mowed down by some murderous robber is much higher than being an accountant etc.

  • riotousr - 2012-09-04 14:39

    That is the intention. C'mon, stop playing the alarmists.

  • brian.bogus.9 - 2012-09-04 18:57

    You would be surprised to know that there is a lot of young people who want to start farming, myself included and we have a lot of new and innovative ideas. The problem is when you are a young inspiring white farmer there seems to be every effort from the government and the banks to deter you from purchasing/leasing land or securing start up loans for machinery. How about offering the same mentor programs for young farms of all races that are offered to only black youths and lastly how about sorting out farm security issues. Sort these simple problems out and watch the average age of the farmer drop dramatic.

      nkanyiso.brilliant1 - 2012-09-04 20:27

      Simple and straight forward bruh,u have make up a sence

  • brian.bogus.9 - 2012-09-04 19:11

    You would be surprised to know that there is a lot of young people who want to start farming, myself included and we have a lot of new and innovative ideas. The problem is when you are a young inspiring white farmer there seems to be every effort from the government and the banks to deter you from purchasing/leasing land or securing start up loans for machinery. How about offering the same mentor programs for young farms of all races that are offered to only black youths and lastly how about sorting out farm security issues. Sort these simple problems out and watch the average age of the farmer drop dramatic.

  • anke.potgieter.9 - 2012-09-05 10:59

    The sooner our farmers, teachers and police get paid what they are worth, the sooner we can start working the bad out of these sectors!There is no more respect for the jobs that build a country - what a shame!

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