SA farmers offered more land in Africa

2010-09-17 13:26

Johannesburg - South African farmers have received new land offers to grow crops across Africa, bringing the total number of countries offering farming opportunities to 22, a major farmers' group said on Friday.

South Africa - the continent's biggest economy - has one of the most developed agricultural sectors on the continent and its farmers are looking to expand into other countries.

Farmers group Agri SA said there had been growing interest from other African countries for South African farmers to invest in those nations.

"Namibia has become the 22nd country to invite Agri SA to establish irrigation (farms) along the banks of the Orange and Kunene Rivers," Agri SA deputy president Theo de Jager said in a statement.

"Last week Gabon made a presentation to Agri SA's Africa committee, while the contracts between South African farmers and the Republic of Congo should soon be finalised."

Agri SA said more than 1 000 South African farmers are already producing crops in Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Kenya.

South African farmers have in the recent past also received land offers from countries like Uganda, Angola and Libya.

But lack of bilateral agreements between South Africa and some countries had discouraged farmers from investing in certain places.

The grouping said it would carefully scrutinise bilateral agreements between South Africa and potential host countries before making investments.

"It is becoming increasingly important to manage the impact that large-scale production of certain commodities in our neighbouring states can have on local markets," De Jager said.

Agri SA said it would help South African farmers to secure financing from local and international sources for their investments.

Agri SA said in July that financiers like Standard Bank Group [JSE:SBK], Absa Group [JSE:ASA] and Standard Chartered had shown interest to fund land buys and that the Chinese have been talking with South African farmers to finance their cross-border investments.

  • mikeh - 2010-09-17 13:45

    Some countries know the value of South African and Zimbabwean farmers. Zimbabwe and South Africa do not.

  • liewers - 2010-09-17 13:46

    Those countries have been hungry long enough and "independent" long enough, in other words dependent on food aid that they realise the resource (mostly white farmers) is a resource and not an enemy. Only once South Africa has experienced famine like Zimbabwe and other African nations will South Africans realise how fortunate they are to have productive commercial farmers.

  • SP - 2010-09-17 13:48

    It appears to be only the ANC that does not realise the value of white farmers in Africa. SA will have to starve first - like the countries which now welcome white farmers did.

  • Jo - 2010-09-17 13:49

    Great news for our farmers.See how Juluis et al will starve to death with their radical land reform.The chickens will come home to roost while these farmers will prosper!!

  • Juan - 2010-09-17 13:52

    Ja!!! So they realise that chasing the white man away was a BIG MISTAKE now that they are starving, the white man is good enough to grow food again, huh?

  • Lerato - 2010-09-17 13:57

    Wao this is very good,with the growing SA population and the food shortage across Afica this could be the answer to all out problems and also showing that Afica can in fact solve its problems and food shortages in other African countries instead of relying on aid from UN. This is good i'm Proudly SA :)

  • FarmerBrown - 2010-09-17 13:58

    Yip, farmers, go to the countries that will appreciate you. As other African countries grow, BEE and AA will kill South Africa.

  • Walter Hurley - 2010-09-17 14:01

    This is a simply primitive form of amateurish bribery that is in reality Ethnic Cleansing by the ANC solidarity comrades. Africa’s general credo is to get rid of the competent, and those that know too much about the corrupt and incapable cadres. Known as Operation GROW (get rid of whites) is a ‘hidden’ component of the ANC’s real policy. The ANC is riddled with envy and greed.

  • Bilbo - 2010-09-17 14:04

    Sad that SA farmers are wanted all over Africa except in their own country.

  • Fair Deal - 2010-09-17 14:05

    We have a huge contingent of farmers waiting for suitable farming land ,and here are our neighbours crying out for South African farmers to farm on their lands. Taking into account our high rate of unemployment I think that Agri SA should act as a facilitator to assist in this respect.

  • hd - 2010-09-17 14:18

    well, there you have it Julius mampara & the ANC, our food security is going North... when our basic food prices start skyroceting because we need to import from our neighbours. Our Farmers being killed so that the farms can be redistributed... and not put into production... Soon Julius, Soon, those fat cheeks will be no more... but you can still go on strike just for the heck of it....

  • Anony-mouse - 2010-09-17 14:18 the govt and its cronies wants the farmers out, while the rest of Africa (with exception of Mad Bob) want them in! it shows that at least someone values the skills and capabilities of SA's hard-workin commercial farmers

  • Conrad - 2010-09-17 14:20

    Best of luck to SA farmers moving into other African countries. You deserve a break!

  • Johnathan - 2010-09-17 14:29

    Looks like those people see past petty politics and realise that the purpose of agricultural land is actually to be USED PRODUCTIVELY (creating jobs in the process) and not to be destroyed by neglect and incompetence.

  • Sakkie - 2010-09-17 14:34

    This should be a clear indication to all those calling for land reforms and dispossession that they are making a mistake. "Chasing" your farmers away will only lead to poverty and then humility as you will one day beg for them to come back. WAKE UP!!

  • Frits van Oudtshoorn - 2010-09-17 14:44

    When agriculture started some 10 000 years ago the world's population was 10 million. The population growth is currently 10 million people every 10 days. Africa has the fastest growth rate of all. Where are these people going to get food? Africa already has the highest levels of malnutrition in the world. Ironically the highest levels of malnutrition are in countries with the highest potential for agriculture (in terms of climate and soil). Successful large-scale commercial farming requires a person that is competent in many aspects (finances, labour, mechanics, plant production, animal husbandry, etc.) as well as possessing personal ethics such as a hard work ethic, endurance, stewardship, self discipline, passion and others. To put is short, commercial farming is not for sissies. The above mentioned skills and ethics can be compared to the development of a culture and are not acquired easily and can take hundreds of years. The countries inviting South African commercial farmers are aware of future food requirements and the skills needed to produce this food. They are also aware that large scale commercial farming is an extremely scarce skill and not acquired by only running some agricultural development projects funded with international funds. It is a culture and a culture develops over a very long time. In the case of South African farmers this farming culture already started in the Netherlands, the UK and France before the first farmers settled from 1652 onwards. If I was the SA government I would have given the South African commercial farmers all the support they need and keep them as happy as can be, even though they might be a stubborn bunch, which partly why they are so successful, because farming is not for sissies. Frits van Oudtshoorn

  • Therk - 2010-09-17 14:49

    And here in South Africa we want to "kill" the farmers. Nice one Julius.

  • Wow - 2010-09-17 15:07

    Why SA farmers, they are the 'black sheep' locally? Looks like other countries came to realise that producing food is more important than taking productive land and giving it away to correct the mistakes of the past.

  • Super Duper - 2010-09-17 15:12

    LOL.. wouldn't it be wonderful if those 1000 farmers could be producing in SA....oh hang on.... they;re not wanted.... LOL... well done farmers...grow your crops with your expertise... funny how the whitey isn't hated in the rest of Africa... i guess the locals in other African countries have learnt the hard way already..

  • tarzan - 2010-09-17 15:23

    when south africans starve to death and prices are astronomical for food because everything is imported, only then will the value of farmers be realised in South Africa. What an absolute shame that the skill of local white farmers is still not realised.

  • Investor - 2010-09-17 15:27

    Start Farms,expand into Africa, dont worry you will soon be exporting back to South africa who are closing down farms by the day due to expropriation

  • hunger - 2010-09-18 10:29

    Nothing says told you so much as hunger.

  • Black farmer - 2010-09-18 14:31

    south africa would never starve, not in our life time, so you ndin't to fear all these claims.never will

  • siouxchief - 2010-09-18 19:23

    Fritz van Oudshoorn.. the only sensible comment on this site. Hopefully the decision makers will read and react accordingly. Then again their past history suggests probably not.

  • Richard - 2010-09-19 10:23

    People, why bring racism into this? Farming is farming, irrespective of what race, color or creed you are. What we should be doing is some form of Conscription for our youth, and teaching them skills around farming, whether it is finances, labour, mechanics, plant production, animal husbandry,soil maintenance, market forces, etc, so that we equip ourselves better to assist our own country and the rest of Africa out of the trap of lack of adequate food production. I say go for it, if I was younger I would take my family into Angola, Moz, Gabon, Congo etc, and farm, farm, farm!!

  • Bailey A. Griffin - 2010-09-20 09:06

    I am based in the U.K. now and I am in farming this side and I have been following SA politics since the big hoohaa about JuJu and I am South African and proud to be, I just thinks it being petty or sad for white farmers to kick to try and kick up a storm about everything that happens, now this opportunity has presented itself through hard that no one is critisizing and yet they just manage to pick a fight with Julius, everyone is entitle to say what they want as much as the white okes on here are excerising it but I think think you need to get a life honestly and see blessings, everyone has had a tough time to get the country to where it is today, I know I am speaking from the other side of the fence here but come on people you have what those african countries that you are busy spitting in their faces at the same time with foolish statements like "I told you so", so what if you did tell them so, it does not make you any better people then them so all I can say is kom nou mense ruk jul self reg en werk jul almal saam, Suid Afrika kan dit doen, wit, swart, groen ens. so stop crying about 2 people in the entire beautiful country and worry about making sure farming doesnt stop, times are hard for everyone affect in the country, the real problems lie elsewhere and solution needs to be made to make sure the country moves forward peacefully

  • fox - 2010-10-12 13:31

    first we are pushed or shot off the lands of Africa, because we're not the only one's who can farm, then invited back. I don't understand.

  • Gravel - 2010-10-14 08:21

    Why would SA farmers want to create jobs & improve skills in other countries when this should be happening here at home??? Fire the minister of agriculture and replace him with a South African dedicated to improving his country.

  • Mogologolo Thitlong - 2010-10-14 08:25

    My fellow South Africans, please embrace the lessons of history with open hands.No man was born a farmer,anyone can be anything.Support all the farmers,both Africans and descendent Europeans and we all have sustaineble food security. For all those who think a certain race is more capable of succesful farming than the other,you are your own enemy.Open your eyes and ears and move with times.It is the best gift you can give to your future generations.

  • Sicelo Mfeka - 2010-10-14 08:42

    The sooner they go the better

  • BT - 2010-10-14 09:15

    @Sicelo Mfeka. There is only one word which describes you perfectly. IDIOT! You better hope that you or your children are not starving one day. Personally, it may just be what you deserve.

  • janine - 2010-10-20 07:36

    The problem lies in the fact that farmers are seen to be wealthy. The risks in farming ie weather exchange rate for export are huge. The majority of farmers make 5% profit on their capital if they are lucky. Most farmers have huge overdrafts and have huge financial risk. The government does not bail them out when they fail. They get liquidated Farming has been romantisised by Malema and co. It is hugely risky and yes there are good years. At the moment vegetable farmers are ploughing in their crops as they cant sell them. Who refunds them the input costs? Nobody. They take the risk and to have further risk by threatening to take the land is damaging for the future of this country. There are farms expropriated by the state 30 years ago that are still not being farmed. Farms taken over by government lie fallow in most cases. Most farms have not been inherited but bought by successful business people. Why dont they nationlise shoppingis centres and businesses etc if this is the argument. The beneficiaries would have less risk. IF ANYTHING A CAMPAIGN SHOULD BE STARTED TO SUPPORT THE FARMERS

  • daisy - 2010-11-15 15:43

    I am sorry that our farmers are been klid by blacks , not white , so why not if they can go and farm some were els why not we have tomany JULLIS MALEMS in our country with no brain between there ears , they no nothing about farming , how many farms have they been given , and how many of them are farming . thank you

  • Loodpil - 2010-11-23 12:02

    @Sicelo Mfeka: Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full of food.

  • Loodpil - 2010-11-23 12:08

    @Black farmer: that's exactly what the people from Zimbabwe said. Doesn't look like its working out too nicely for them over there...

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