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Agri SA sê voedselproduksie en hongersnood verligting moet nou voorop gestel word | Agri SA says food production and hunger relief must now be prioritised

English to follow:

13 Mei 2020

Dit blyk dat die twee departemente van landbou en grondhervorming en landelike ontwikkeling nou uiteindelik saamgesmelt het in een departement.  Die nuwe struktuur is op 5 Mei 2020 aan die portefeuljekomitee op landbou, grondhervorming en landelike ontwikkeling voorgehou. Die departement het hulle strategiese plan vir die volgende 5 jaar met die portefeuljekomitee gedeel.

Willem de Chavonnes Vrugt Voorsitter van Agri SA se Grond Sentrum van Uitnemendheid, het gewaarsku dat die nuwe departement se mandaat geweldig wyd is en dat daar gewaak moet word daarteen om die landbou-aspekte af te skeep.  Die prioriteit vir die afsienbare toekoms is om volgehoue voedselproduksie te handhaaf en hongersnood te beveg.

Agri SA se lede speel ‘n kritiese rol in hierdie verband. Daar is ‘n gevaar dat die grond-debat landbou-kwessies kan oorskadu.  Hoewel Agri SA die belangrikheid van grondhervorming ten volle erken, verg landbou nou groot fokus.

Agri SA het met kommer kennis geneem van die feit dat die departement beoog om die Wetsontwerp op die Regulering van Landbou Grondbesit terug te bring. Die kontroversiële wetsontwerp maak voorsiening vir grondplafonne en die regulering van buitelandse grondbesit.  Dit blyk ook dat planne om artikel 25 van die Grondwet te wysig voortstoom, asook die Onteieningswetsontwerp.

Agri SA en sy lede speel reeds ‘n groot rol in hongersnood-verligting met voedselhulp wat al aan verskeie gemeenskappe gelewer is.  Vir landbouers om aan te hou produseer, is beleidsekerheid en sekerheid van eiendomsreg nodig. Dit is ook baie belangrik dat landbouers wat op staatsgrond boer, sekerheid van besitreg en bekostigbare finansiering kry om produksie op hierdie grond te optimaliseer.

Covid-19 gaan die wêreld in baie opsigte verander, het De Chavonnes Vrugt gesê. “Ons het nou visioenêre leierskap nodig wat ons land reg kan posisioneer vir die veranderde wêreld na die pandemie.  Landbou gaan ‘n nog groter rol speel in die toekoms en ons moet ons landbousektor koester en beskerm” het hy gesê.

Navrae:

Annelize Crosby

Hoof van Agri SA se Sentrum van Uitnemendheid: Grond

Willem de Chavonnes Vrugt

Voorsitter van Agri SA se Grond Sentrum van Uitnemendheid

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It seems as if the department of agriculture and land reform and the department of rural development have now finally merged. The new structure was presented to the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development on 5 May 2020. The department also shared its strategic plan for the next 5 years with the portfolio committee.

Willem de Chavonnes Vrugt, chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Land, warned that the new department’s mandate is extensive and that it should guard against neglecting agriculture-related aspects. A priority for the foreseeable future must be to ensure sustainable food production and combat hunger.

Agri SA’s members play a critical role in this regard. There is a risk that the land debate could overshadow agricultural issues. Although Agri SA fully acknowledges the importance of land reform, the focus should now be on agriculture.

Agri SA has learned with concern that the department intends to revisit the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill. The controversial bill makes provision for land ceilings and the regulation of foreign ownership of land. It also seems that plans to amend section 25 of the Constitution, as well as the Expropriation Bill, are going full steam ahead.

Agri SA and its members have already played a major role in hunger relief by delivering food to various communities. For farmers to continue producing, they require policy certainty and security of property rights. It is also important that farmers who farm on state land have security of tenure and access to affordable financing to optimise production on such land.

Covid-19 will change the world in many respects, says De Chavonnes Vrugt. “We now need visionary leadership to position our country for the changing world following the pandemic. Agriculture will play an even bigger role in future; therefore, we need to cherish and protect our farming sector.”

Enquiries:

Annelize Crosby

Head of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Land

Willem de Chavonnes Vrugt

Chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Land