Land reform under renewed scrutiny

The article quotes alliance partners stating that South Africa has grown from being a net exporter to being an importer of food, and that policy must be geared to increase food production and safeguard food security so that we rely less on imports,' It also records that food prices rose 17.8% between July 2007 and July 2008.

A recent status report by PLAAS on the state of land reform in South Africa argues that where land reform has occurred, the state has failed to support it adequately.

The report highlighted  that 'South Africa has approximately one-third of the number of extension officers required to meet its development targets, and 80 percent of the current extension staff are not adequately trained,' 

'Various studies have shown that beneficiaries experience severe problems accessing services such as credit, training, extension advice, transport and ploughing services, veterinary services, and access to input and produce markets.'

Given the growing lack of food security and increasing incidence of hunger in South Africa's black rural areas, coupled with the poor record of many land reform projects, it is time that the State moved sustainable land reform and rural development much higher up the national political agenda

Posted: 10/28/2008 (12:10:14 AM)

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