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“From land to farming: bringing land reform down to earth” – IRR

24 May 2016

“Despite failures they admit, both the government and the African National Congress (ANC) seem bent on pushing ahead with “land reform”. Even though somewhat modified, policy remains rooted in determination to reverse the ownership patterns arising from the Land Acts as well as to implement the and promote the National Democratic Revolution. This not only risks more failure, but might worsen poverty and unemployment —while undermining food production and other agricultural output. Fundamental changes to land policy are therefore required. These include secure title, embracing the private sector as allies, and building on some of the success stories among small farmers. In essence, policy should focus not on land but on farming. Instead of redistributing more land, land currently underutilised should be brought into full production. Instead of seeking to create many more small farmers, those already in existence should be helped to succeed. This necessitates not only a shift in focus from land reform to farming, but a recognition that individual entrepreneurship is the key to success. It further necessitates acknowledging the enormous challenges facing farming in South Africa, and that agriculture is not the answer to poverty and unemployment the government seems to think it is.” – IRR

Read the full document from IRR.

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