Aggregate smaller farms - MEC

2012-09-17 16:26

Johannesburg - Aggregating smaller farms into larger co-operative units will help improve food security, Gauteng agriculture MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said on Monday.

"Co-operatives allow small-scale farmers to sell their produce in bulk and enables them to be part of the monetary economy, thus ensuring their own food security," she said in Johannesburg.

Mayathula-Khoza was addressing reporters on World Food Day to be held on October 16.

She said a priority was to strengthen the ability of rural and urban households to play an active role in sustaining their livelihoods through agriculture.

"This will allow producers to capture the considerable economies of scale existing in the procurement of inputs and marketing of outputs."

Do you agree? Tell us what you think

  • judith.taylor.56 - 2012-09-17 16:36

    Fancy that she's finally heard us!

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-09-17 17:01

      No Mr Minister. Stopping the racist murders of our farmers and their families will help improve our food security!

      lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-17 22:44

      "The restructuring of agriculture should facilitate a move away from the exclusive reliance on large-scale single crop agriculture, to a more diversified combination of agricultural production systems, including family farms, small scale farms and co-operative farming systems." Ready to Govern: ANC policy guidelines for a democratic South Africa (

  • claudia.meads - 2012-09-17 16:43

    What a load of rubbish. It will simply fail under diminishing returns. In simple terms - 'too many cooks spoil the broth'. Farming is no longer a political tool - it is a highly specialised business that is only feasible when done on a certain scale - look at the USA for a model, not to models of collective subsistence farming from the fringes of the stone-age.

      andrew.arnesen - 2012-09-18 08:16

      @Claudia I don't think you understand properly what she is proposing. It is exactly the problem of scale that she is attempting to address. The concept is collectivization and it works remarkably well when it is is implemented successfully, when all the participants pull their weight. The idea is that a group of farmers (each with a small production capacity) 'band together' and sell their products as a whole. It means that your 200kg of potatoes can be sold with the other farmer's potatoes and you get your proportionate return on the whole batch. Many countries have implemented this (old communist) technique and it works well if managed correctly. Also, farming is not (or should not) be quite so high, mighty, out of reach and sophisticated as you suppose- most people can grow vegetables for their own consumption even in very small spaces. And, if done correctly, you do not need to buy expensive fertilizers and other sprays, etc. Far from being rocket science, as you intimate, growing food (farming) is very simple and accessible for anyone who is not worried about getting their hands dirty.

  • herbert.plessis - 2012-09-17 16:48

    Why are the agricultural economists ignored? This is how simple this should be: If the farm is "given" to the formerly disadvantaged farmers and the turnover is 15% less than what it was under the "colonial land thief" then the farm should be returned to the "colonial land thief" at the reduced price. This will not only promote PRODUCTION but also lessen the crazy thing called subsistence farming.

  • trevor.roberts.148 - 2012-09-17 17:12

    Sounds just a bit like communist collectives to me. Sell the farms to people who know how to farm.

  • christoffel.nel - 2012-09-17 17:36

    It will not work. To much infighting and plundering. I know this because I know such farms.

  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-09-17 17:40

    So, we are finally admitting that we can not sort out the problem and your suggestion is preposterous and sure as hell is not going to improve it.Perhaps if one started teaching them the ABC of farming, supervised apropriately to ensure what was taught is followed, we'd make some progress. Trying to protect white farmers for the purpose is obviously neither possible or of any interest

  • David Steyn - 2012-09-17 17:43

    If you want to feed the nation do what Charles says.

  • KReddy - 2012-09-17 18:07

    Maybe if you settled claims on farms that have been gazetted 6 years ago the farms can become productive again. Farming has come to a stop in many farms in kzn as their farms have been valuated in 2006 and they're still awaiting the purchase. Why develop further when farmers will get 2006 farm price payouts?

  • Billy - 2012-09-18 03:09

    how small, is your "smaller farms" ? doesnt help if you have a bunch of people farming enough only for themselves. then you sit with a gazillion of the same products from the different farms, how is the quality going to be controlled for example? why or how would shops stock all the different farm brands of the same products on their shelves? this large co-operative unit just sounds like another step that can go wrong. streamline production, dont add more points of possible failure to it...

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-09-18 08:28

    This did not work in the US why will it work here? Secondly from 60 000 farmers in Apartheid to just over 8 000 now no wonder we dont have food security. While the cANCer chases our farmers, our border countries welcome them with open arms, Mozambuque , Zambia, Congo etc... all these countries are suddenly getting farm produce and land being farmed. Then the issue of farmers security 4 000 murdered white and black, and still climbing

  • cory.van.wyk - 2012-09-18 09:31

    look what communism did to farming in Georgia, Eastern Europe. Now they are asking the Boers to come and help setup the farms.

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