by greg penfold

Editor's Note

Farmers are doing it for themselves

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Spring ushered in the hope of unity among South African farmers, with the signing by the presidents of four organised agriculture bodies of a statement of intent on 2 September. The African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (AFASA)‚ TAU-SA‚ the National African Farmers’ Union of South Africa (NAFU SA) and Agri SA have agreed to work together and develop a national agricultural development strategy.

They will operate under the umbrella name of the Agri Sector Unity Forum (ASUF) and are going to hold an indaba in November to work out the details of the plan. Calling for a complete redesign of the system, they said that current policies and programmes are bedevilled with problems so intricate and comprehensive as to be irreparable.

Critical factors to be addressed include post-settlement support for new farmers, export-led growth for black farmers and the creation of opportunities for women and youth. The establishment of trust among stakeholders is also vital.

Deputy President David Mabuza witnessed the signing and stated that government would support the initiative.

We applaud the ASUF initiative as being in the interests of everyone in the agricultural sector and will follow developments closely.

Greg Penfold

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