Background and discussions:                                          PDF: Policy Statement Agriculture

Strategies:

  •  Expand irrigated lands where possible, particularly in the previous homeland areas, from the present 1.5 to almost 2 million hectares under irrigation.
  • Develop underutilised lands in rural areas for commercial production.
  • Develop marketing and distribution chains particularly in communal and land reform areas.
  • Invest in agricultural research and development for crops developing shortages and for new crop development and to address needs arising from climate change.
  • Invest in agricultural and and entrepreneurship and extension officer training.
  • Maintain a positive trade balance for primary and processed agricultural products.
  • Use and expand existing public works programmes for rural infrastructure development
  • Improve and develop information exchange efficiencies in the agricultural supply chain to better inform the players in the chain of market prices and conditions.
  • Improve the working conditions of agricultural workers with particular emphasis on improving the health and welfare of workers and their families.
  • Increase production of staples to decrease dependence on imported produce and to enable self sufficiencies in the production of those staples for times of need 
  • Encourage the consumption of fruit and vegetables, particularly through school and other public feeding schemes influencing the demand for fruit and vegetables and thus increase production by big-food and independent food producers.
  • Look for creative ways to re-introduce professional farmers to the land through freehold as well as leasehold arrangements.
  • Establish agricultural mentorships for new entrants into agriculture. 

Conclusion:

By application of these strategies and those outlined for transport, land reform and education, amongst other policies, the DDF intend to strengthen the agricultural sector and its production capacity, impacting positively on:

  • Land utilisation
  • Food production
  • Food security
  • Food distribution
  • Food prices
  • Agricultural employment and job security