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No reason to explore 100% local food procurement, says agriculture minister

Aug 19 2019 21:34
Khulekani Magubane, Fin24

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza has said in a written reply to Members of Parliament that government has not conducted a feasibility study into procuring 100% of food locally and does not deem it necessary to do so.

Didiza's written answer was in response to a question from Economic Freedom Fighters MP Patrick Sindane. Sindane asked Didiza whether the department had ever conducted such a study.

The challenges of land reform, agriculture and food security are related, as preserving and improving food security is one of the conditions in the African National Congress’ resolution to explore the expropriation of land without compensation.

In response to Sindane's question, Didiza said: "Since 1994, neither the Department nor its entities have conducted a study into the possibility of procuring 100% of food consumed locally."

Didiza said while there was "no compelling reason for undertaking such a study", the department does study food security levels, agricultural production trends, and agricultural trade patterns.

"In circumstances where there is comparative disadvantage, and domestic consumption exceeds production, such as in the case of wheat, the country imports the balance," Didiza said.

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