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Capping farm sizes won’t work say experts

Author: Claire Bisseker

Agricultural experts have panned government’s plan to cap farm sizes at 12 000ha and ban foreign ownership as politically expedient but economically and environmentally damaging.

Not only do the proposals contradict President Jacob Zuma’s nine-point state of the nation (Sona) plan to reignite growth by various means, including through revitalising agriculture and encouraging private investment, but the kitty to fund capital purchases of new land is shrinking.

The 2015 national budget shows government’s capital budget for buying and developing land for restitution and redistribution has declined by about 30% since 2013-2014.

“The budget tells us that treasury is not buying the new policy talk of government,” says associate professor Ruth Hall of the Institute for Poverty, Land & Agrarian Studies (Plaas) at the University of the Western Cape.

 

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