The South African government on Friday came up with policy proposals on the ceilings on farms for both natural and juristic persons. farmer
The ceiling for a viable commercial small scale farm should be 1,000 hectares, while the ceiling for a medium scale viable commercial farm should be 2,500 hectors, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti said in his budget vote speech in parliament.
As for large scale farms, the ceiling for a viable commercial farm should be 5,000 hectares, Nkwinti said.
For these proposals, “we have looked at South Africa’s history of land ownership patterns, since the advent of the 1913 Natives’ Land Act as well as experience elsewhere in the world, particularly Europe and a few countries in Latin America,” said Nkwinti.
He said the South African experience shows that the aggregate farmland over this period has generally remained stable, being disturbed by fluctuations in the number of people entering or leaving farming, influencing in turn, the fall of average farm size from 950 hectares and 750 hectares (between 1918 and 1950); and, between 750 hectares to over 2,000 hectares, currently.
In Europe, the general average farm size is 14 hectares, while in Latin America it ranges between approximately 72 hectares (Brazil) and 84 hectares (Chile).
Nkwinti acknowledged that with regard to land ceilings and the prohibition of land ownership by foreign nationals, there has been outright rejection from the greater part of the sector.
This matter has divided the sector across racial and class lines, he said.
The prohibition of land ownership by foreign nationals has drawn a sharp response from, particularly, the Banking Association of South Africa / Agricultural Business Chamber (BASA/Agbiz) and Agri-SA.
“The basis of their rejection is that it will drive away foreign investment, not only in the agricultural sector, but in the economy as a whole. We certainly do not agree with this view,” Nkwinti said.
“Our conviction is that any investor, whether foreign or national, wants policy certainty. Once they understand what the policy is, they adapt accordingly.” Enditem

Source: Xinhua


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.