Communication issues threat to food security

2012-02-20 18:48

Stellenbosch - A lack of communication between farmers and government is threatening South Africa's food security, DA land affairs and rural development spokesperson Athol Trollip said on Monday.

Speaking to Sapa on the sidelines of AgriSa's annual conference in Stellenbosch he described the relations between the two as "antagonistic".

There was also a lack of understanding.

This had been clear at the conference's morning session, where delegates had repeatedly raised this with Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel.

"One after the other, farmers stood up and said there's no proper meaningful interaction and connection between government and us."

Trollip said this was an "indictment of government".

"We need a new relationship of mutual understanding and mutual benefit."

Asked if he thought such lack of communication was a threat to the country's food security, he replied: "Most definitely."

Trollip said all that farmers really wanted from government was security of tenure.

Government's focus on the principle of willing-buyer-willing-seller, which underpinned land reform, was "an excuse" for the failure of its efforts in this regards.

"They are making an excuse for the fact that they can't efficiently implement the rural reform and meet the targets of government. Now they need to find a scapegoat. This scapegoat was the willing-buyer-willing-seller principle."

Trollip said the price of irrigation and ranch land in South Africa had risen ten and four fold respectively over the past seven years.

Land was becoming more expensive.

"So to simply say we're going to do away with willing-buyer-willing seller is throwing the baby out with the bath water. It exacerbates the fears of the farming community who are now asking what their investment is worth."

The willing-buyer-willing seller was basis for security of tenure, he said,

  • Max - 2012-02-20 19:00

    If all the white owned farms are given to black farmers, how many blacks will benefit by this? Say there is a 100 000 farms then you will have a 100 000 blacks smiling and the other 40 million will still be poor. How is it possible that they do not understand this concept.

      Bahle Mathe - 2012-02-20 20:25

      The constant referral on "they" when comments are made make them lose substance and value. We all know who "they" are. I'm probably one of them. This approach of debating issues along racial lines was mainly the cause of the Zim economic demise. This is not doing the future of our country any favor. I believe in equal opportunity and I don't think that any person should get an advantage by virtue of the colour of his skin but unfortunately we can never discuss transformation without reffering to race. Let's stop pointing fingers and come up with ideas as to how can we transform economy of the country to reflect the respective races that live in it

      Max - 2012-02-20 21:11

      Bahle, this is unfortunately a racial issue that must be debated along racial lines because any thinking person will tell you that Government is promoting the redistribution of DEVELOPED AGRICULTURAL land with a hidden agenda and it has got nothing to do with historic ownership of land. You haven't answer my question with regards to how does the black masses going to benefit by the redistribution of farms. So the THEY I am referring to is obviously the black masses that are mislead by government into thinking that THEY will benefit. It is not white people that I am referring to because THEY will not benefit from this misguided lies and are therefore not fooled into believing it. I am not against economic transformation but what I do not understand is why the black masses would support land redistribution thinking that they will benefit from it. From a different perspective, if the 100 000 current farmers are replaced by a 100 000 white people that do not have farms but want to farm because the are jobless, tell me honestly what do you think will happen with our agricultural sector? So why is this concept right when the 100 000 jobless people are black?

      Bahle Mathe - 2012-02-20 22:46

      I completely agree Max it would be imprudent to place the agricultural sector in the hands of unskilled people regardless of the color of their skin, not only would that be a fruitless exercise but it would also have an impact on Food security. However here we dealing with poor people majority of whom are situated in deserted areas of this country like the Karoo who would have no chance in finding employment and to whom farming would be the only option, now if we wanted to build this nation we would give this people a chance by making available to them, the necessary farming skills instead of propheting doom for them

  • Tanie - 2012-02-20 19:02

    ''the willing-buyer-willing-seller principle.'' even Malema knew how to articulate this. Has farmers IQ been kept sow low all this time? Afriforum you are not doing your job well or else you are implementing a new form of fronting with these poor low IQ citizens for your own gain.

      Poloyatonki - 2012-02-20 19:19

      Afriforum and Malema are like the sides of the same coin, the question is Who owns this coin?

  • Ben - 2012-02-20 19:02

    Food security is no problem for the decision makers. They have enough money to buy imported food. The question is: Are they concerned about the poor or is it ideology taking precedence. Or do they really not understand.

  • Adam - 2012-02-20 19:03

    I am sure that if the government gave our farmers surety and security, they would help and teach the new farmers that have been given free farms, which would benefit us (more food) and government(more money), and keep Mr Jones from returning to Animal farm.

  • Poloyatonki - 2012-02-20 19:07

    One thing about the land issue is that, it will be given to someone who cant even develop it. And in couple of years time the land will still be undeveloped. Its time to get the right people to have land, and i dont really care who owns the land as long as it boost our economy. And the gov will more money to give us the free stuff that they promised us.

      Tanie - 2012-02-20 19:41

      Haleluya Poloyatonki, I never believed in rehabilitation until I read this comment from you.Unless if you hijacked the real poliodonkey name. Do you want to tell me you really envied the guy so much that you hijack his name? where is Motsokwane? we missed you guys.

  • Mzwandile - 2012-02-20 19:11

    Always complaining. They want to dictate the terms of engagement with government where they tell the government what land reform policies must they implement. AgriSA is a stumbling block to effective land reforms. They want a securty of tenure but when government legislated a security of tenure for labours they started driving them brutally from the farms.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-02-20 19:41

      Mzwandile, you poor little ignorant goatherder, or toilet cleaner or whatever. Security of tenure for labourers had nothing to do with farmers laying off labourers. It was distinctly and directly after the unrealistic new labour laws and minimum wages Acts were promulgated. They had to otherwise they could not afford to keep their farms from even breaking even, not even considering making a profit. So.. I suggest that you leave your boss's 'puter and get back to look after the goats or cleaning the toilets or whatever you do. If you want to post comments on this forum get your facts right..idiot

      Mzwandile - 2012-02-20 20:13

      A bettter way to avoid an argument is to shout and throw insults - those are real idoits. Name calling and insults don't intimidate me I am better than that. I wonder how do you separate the Security of Tenure Act 1997 from the labour laws you are referring to because that was one of the labour legislation for farm workers. Unlessin you naivity you only think labour laws refers to Labour Relations Act and Basic Conditions of Employment Act. Go and do labour law 101 then you can argue with me about laws. I wonder who is a toilet cleaner now.

  • Sandy - 2012-02-20 19:34

    Is this new news to anyone?

  • Larry - 2012-02-20 19:52

    No security of tenure = no reinvestment = Zimbabwe.

  • Rudi - 2012-02-20 20:34

    I would like to know what happens in 20 to 50 years from now, if whites starts to buy land from black land owners.( Willing-buyer, willing-seller)Will people be able to buy and sell land as they please?

  • juliette.t.darroch - 2012-02-20 20:34

    It's very difficult to communicate with the dead. No matter what race they are..

  • Themba - 2012-02-20 20:54

    Sir Block we definatley come from different continents ,the difference is you only support those from your continent even if the truth is as visible as the Joburg tower.People from your continent because of their greed and desregard of the agreements made in Lancaster ,they thought there was no end to their reign of exploitation, like u they conspired with their forefathers to sabotage any meaningful development in that country,shame on you Zimbabwe is on an economic turnaround thanks to look east policy.Your back is against the indian ocean take a long swim boet.

      Mzwandile - 2012-02-20 21:39

      @Block. I agree that not all or majority of white people are racist however there is this tendency to equate everything good with White and everything bad with Black. Your line of argument points to this direction by saying without Whites SA goes the same way as Zim. This is a dangerious line of argument because it perpetuate the notion of White supremacy which is more or less synoymous with racism. So please be careful Sir, anyway that is an African way of being respectful even if we differ.

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-20 22:00

      Themba : Can you hear yourself? What you are saying, is that you despise the European colonialists who brought prosperity to Zimbabwe. You acknowledge the failure of ZANU-PF who destroyed the country and you are now looking forward to prosperity, once again, under Chinese colonialism.

  • Andrew - 2012-02-20 21:15

    All you need do is look at the rest of Africa, once self-sufficient in crop production ( white farmers),now importing and living off hand outs from charity organisations, as soon as farms were taken off white farmers. Unfortunately Africa is doomed.

  • Themba - 2012-02-20 21:45

    Sir Block i definately want to work with you,for the benefit of mankind on one condition though l become the senior partner and you my junior,if you agree its all system go,but with the exspirience l know of you people you want me to be your gardernboy which l refuse.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-20 22:18

    If people don't eat, they die. We need farmers to keep us alive and healthy. A farmer are therefore one of the most important professionals in our country. No agricultural land should be just "given" to anybody. Only aspirant farmers (black and white) successfully completing the relevant agricultural academic and practical training, should qualify to occupy farmland-either by ownership (buying the land) or by government lease. Production per unit should be monitored by the various departments and constantly under performing farmers should vacate the farm. Qualify first, then occupy.

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