Apartheid caused land degradation - Zokwana

2014-09-23 11:00


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Johannesburg - The apartheid-era land use system caused degradation of land, Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana has said.

"All these forms of degradation have compromised the capacity of black rural communities to derive economic growth from the agriculture sector," Zokwana said at the sixth biennial land care conference in Durban on Monday. The summit ends on Thursday.

The apartheid land tenure system denied black farmers access to land management support from the state, he explained.

"This resulted in injudicious use of agricultural land. As a result, the inappropriate farming systems led to degradation of vast tracts of agricultural land in communal areas of the former homeland states," he said according to a copy of his speech.

The consequences included soil erosion, declining soil fertility, depletion of organic matter, bush encroachment, overgrazing, alien invasion, and declining water quality.

He said the land care programme, which was started in 1997, was intended to promote sustainable use and management of agricultural resources.

It had enabled South Africa to move towards a community-based and government-supported approach to farming.

"It also ensures that causes of environmental and resource degradation are addressed. As a result, resource-poor farmers, mostly from the rural areas are empowered."

Read more on:    senzeni zokwana  |  johannesburg  |  agriculture  |  land

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