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State buys land for emerging farmers

Author: Khulelani Magubane

THE Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has acquired 7,875ha of land, which it will allocate to emerging farmers around the country. This is part of its drive to assist farmers develop agricultural infrastructure in rural areas. The department spent R200m on the land acquisition, it said. 

But the department remains at odds with the sector because of its land acquisition and reform policies. A proposed cap on land owned by foreign nationals in SA and the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill, which allows the agriculture and fisheries minister to expropriate farm land not used optimally, have raised concerns. The department is also going to embark on a pilot programme for its 50/50 policy, which it adopted to empower people working on land they do not own. The pilot project is expected to target 50 sites in 2015-2019. 

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