Grain SA on Land Reform – Is food shedding next?
Thursday, 14 May 2015
Addressing the media today at a press conference held at NAMPO Park, just outside Bothaville, Grain SA CEO Mr Jannie de Villiers reitterated the organisation's views on land reform, following the land reform proposals announced by minister Nkwinti in Parliament last Friday.
Grain producers (Black and White) say YES to the guidelines for land reform in the National Development Plan – 20% land by 2030 on a district basis. We will assist in making this a reality.
Grain producers say NO to the Minister’s 50:50 plans that fall outside of the Governments policy spelt out in the NDP.
- Unconstitutional (that governs the Government). The Constitution is not a Government policy document – it belongs to us all. It is supreme and guides for all of us, including Government.
- Detriment of the poor:
- First need is food; not owning land
- More than 60% of the farmland is covered by debt. ±83% of Farmers produce food with productions loans. If the 50:50 proposal is implemented, 83% of Farmers won’t have production loans to produce food on half the land. Our infrastructure cannot carry imports of the magnitude we would need.
- Why is the Minister not responding to our moderate proposals that are being practised and is already working. By Government’s own admission land refrom thus far, was a 90% failure.
- Grain SA Farmer Development Plan has thousands of Black grain Farmers producing commercial yields, but cannot access finance because of a lack of title deeds.
Grain producers say NO to land ceilings.
- Minister of Labour – consulted with workers on minimum wage before announcements. Min Nkwinti announced land ceilings without talking to the farmers on the levels and definitions. He knows we are against it.
- Where is the concept of ceilings in the National Development Plan or Constitution?
- However for future expansion, land ceilings can be entertained. We can look at ceilings for future expansion.
- 70% urbanisation by 2030. Where is the food going to come from?
- Look at what the market is dictating at NAMPO – scale is the solution if no Government support. If the SA Government can support like EU (30% of farmers income is from subsidies), you can go for smaller sizes, but without subsidies, scale is your only answer. Since 1997 the SA Government indicated with mega phones: “Go bigger, there is no help!!” We responded - look at NAMPO. Our farmworkers are running satellite operated computer machines to produce millions of tons of good quality food for our nation. Do we want to go back to hand planting (subsistence) for own use? What about the 70% living in the cities?
Issued by: Grain SA
Jannie de Villiers (CEO)