Lack of governance messed good intentions: Agriculture expert


“Previously a lack of governance messed good intentions as there was misuse over the overvaluing of properties that were dilapidated,” Frans van Wyk director of Agrifusion told CNBC Africa.

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“If government really wants to have success in whatever programme they apply, it should be a sustainable business and then transfer of land and not the other way.”

Van Wyk says the country cannot go on with the older ways of approach adding that there was enough evidence that the approach failed.

Land and agriculture are now a business hence the government should take a different approach compared to what has been done so far.

“What we currently see in the sector is an integrated value chain, those who survive in this arena are not only primary producers neither are they just exporters anymore,” he says.

“We have this blurry line that is now called agri-business and if one turn on time in another five years, those existing primary producers will not be there anymore.”

Van Wyk says this is not a political scene or political push but pressure coming from consumers with the whole debate of fast moving consumer goods.

He further states that in South Africa, the sector’s value chain is made up of producers previously called farmers with input suppliers, value adding processes, logistics and exports.

“Currently there about 35,000 farmers contributing about two per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP),” he says.

“Combined contribution of input suppliers such as financial services, fertilizers and pesticides is between 12 and 15 per cent of South Africa’s GDP, a significant player in our economy.”

He adds that many of the traditional primary producers because of their strong balance sheet have managed to merge downstream by becoming business oriented hence creating an open future by producing consumer needs.

Van Wyk says the lower down the value chain integrates the better profits the sector will be able to sustain.

(READ MORE: S.Africa’s land reform: A misleading issue)

Land is one of the emotive topics in African transitional politics and in some cases has hugely contributed to economic collapse of other states due to reform processes.