Agri SA backs black farmers

2010-11-11 18:06

Pretoria - Agri SA supported black South Africans' purchases of land for farming, its deputy president Theo de Jager said in Pretoria on Thursday.

He estimated there were about 700 black emerging commercial farmers around the country.

There was however currently no system of determining how much land was in the hands of black or white farmers, he said at a meeting in Pretoria where Agri SA discussed transformation, rural safety and security and water pollution.

A database was being developed to help in this regard.

"We want South African farmers to participate in rural development in Africa and ensure that the country plays a role in the economy of continent," the organisation's president Johannes Moller said.

Moller said South Africa food met world-class standards. It was therefore important to develop programmes to mitigate water and land pollution, which was threatening food security.

The union also fully supported the rural safety plan introduced by the ministry of police to reduce farm murders.

Agri SA's rural safety committee member Andre Botha said he hoped the plan would also put a stop to crime in rural communities, cases of which had increased by 49% since last year.

The rural safety plan included:

 - increasing and improving police visibility and response times in rural areas,

 - improving service delivery at a local station level,

 - improving relationships between the police, farmers and rural communities.

Botha said the strategy had been developed and was in the process of being rolled out nationally. The farming community would act as reservists and patrollers.