AAMP signed, now what?

TLU SA regrets that, despite several requests to the various role players in the value chain, this organisation was deprived of the opportunity to contribute to the establishment of an economic agricultural plan for the benefit of all farmers in South Africa.

This the reaction from Mr. Bennie van Zyl, TLU SA General Manager after the signing of the controversial AAMP – the government’s latest agricultural master plan.

“Thoko Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, paid great attention to the signing of the AAMP during the agriculture budget debate. However, the process in our opinion was steamrollered. Transformation plays a key role, but after a year, TLU SA still hasn’t received any answers as to what it all entails. Partnerships come first. However, this can only take place between parties who both contribute to the relationship. It must be a voluntary choice,” said Mr. Van Zyl.

“Agriculture is an economic process and at the end of the day, the economic market power principle must be the determining factor for sustainability. It would seem that the role players have completely forgotten about this, or they simply do not care about it.

“When it comes to land, we should rather focus on land that is already in the market as well as all the land that the government already has. It must be given to new entrants who are willing to take on the responsibility and they must be given a fair opportunity to farm. By only making land available, poverty traps are created.”

Mr Van Zyl also referred to the government’s previous efforts for master plans with regards to agriculture.

“Over the years, various agricultural plans have come to light that have not always been successful. For to TLU SA, the reason is that it’s always more about politics and ideology instead of economic plans. With the AAMP, no one can really say what the transformation – which is constantly referred to – is all about, but what has been experienced so far is a strong socialist and communist driven agenda. It must also be noted from documents that will be discussed during the ANC’s conference include topics like white farmers must donate land as well as expropriation without compensation.

“The ideological attack on our farmers – which TLU SA considers to be the biggest asset in the country – is unnecessary. There are sufficient farms coming into the market that new entrants can pick up and if they accept the responsibility it takes to farm, the market forces will determine as with any other farmer whether they will be successful. Much more should be said about this. TLU SA is very concerned that over time this could unlock factors that will put further unrealistic and unnecessary pressure on agriculture.”

TLU SA will respond in more detail once the specific allocations of finances have been studied.


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