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Sifiso Ntombela | Rising discontent among farmers is bad news for sector stability

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In 1992, the Committee of Inquiry into the marketing of agriculture, chaired by Professor Eckart Kassier, warned that the maintenance of the regulated market - that is, controlled food prices and quantities, would inevitably lead to a general breakdown of any form of orderly marketing. 

The committee criticised the thinking that agricultural marketing and policy should be left to a few self-imposed omniscient men that have insight and are well-equipped to bring about the necessary change in the sector. 

The work of the Kassier committee resulted in the deregulation of markets in 1996, a decision that opened great opportunities for farmers to increase production, exports, and importation of technology that was previously not available locally. 

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