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We, the four presidents of AFASA, NAFU SA, Agri SA and TAU-SA, as the members of ASUF, hereby declare our intent to work together to develop a national development strategy for the agriculture sector from the perspective of organised agriculture.
We have had a number of high level interactions as presidents of our four organisations and have done serious introspection. We have noted the parliamentary process on expropriation without compensation and are all participating in the process.
We are going to host an indaba for our sector with the aim of coming up with a national development strategy for an inclusive and sustainable sector. Whilst we take cognisance of the National Development Plan and Operation Phakisa’s outcomes and many other important documents and processes, we want to build trust within our sector and come up with a national strategy that will address a number of concerns that we all agreed on. These include:
1. The problems with the current land reform policies and programmes are so comprehensive and intricate that it is unlikely that these can be fixed. The system needs a complete redesign.
2. Post-settlement support for new farmers is critical. Land cannot be transferred without support.
3. Export led growth for black farmers is crucial.
4. Massive institutional failure at departmental level is an impediment towards developing an inclusive agriculture sector.
5. There is a severe lack of a value chain approach towards development.
6. More opportunities should be created for women and youth in the sector.
7. There is a lack of trust amongst stakeholders that needs to be addressed urgently.
8. Financial mechanisms supporting black farmers are urgently needed.
9. There is a lack of accountability towards black farmer development and nobody is held accountable for mistakes made on land reform.
10. The former homelands are in a state of deep poverty and need urgent interventions.
11. The methodology of farm valuations needs to be reviewed.
12. The negative impact of opportunism in some cases on the prices of land and the quality of land offered to the state for land reform, is acknowledged and should be addressed.
13. The impact technology will have on the agriculture sector should be considered as well as the innovation that is needed to ensure the sustainability of the sector.
14. The Landbank is not functioning as a development finance institution and is subsequently not supporting black farmers adequately.
15. The value of ownership and assets are acknowledged as a crucial means to secure collateral at finance institutions.
16. Private ownership and the free market principle are accepted as the basis for economic growth
17. An agricultural development plan should be economically sustainable.
Signed at ______________________________________ on the ________ day of
__________________________ 20 ___
Dr Vuyo Mahlati
President of AFASA
Mr Dan Kriek
President of Agri SA
Mr Motsepe Matlala
President of NAFU SA
Mr Louis Meintjes
President of TAU-SA
Mr Japie Grobler
Chairperson of ASUF
Mr Pitso Sekhoto
Deputy chairperson of ASUF
Christo van der Rheede
Secretariat of ASUF