Advertise with

Grain SA wants to address government
Grain SA wants to address government

Grain SA wants to address government


Fin24 - Mar 12th 2012, 07:36

Bothaville - South Africa’s grain farmers can certainly produce sufficient food for the country. On the other hand, political rhetoric and generalisations about the agricultural sector must end. 

This was articulated by Louw Steytler, newly elected chair of Grain SA and a farmer from Lückhoff in the Free State.

He says that neither consumers nor government appreciate the fact that South Africa, unlike many other countries, is not faced with food insecurity. In recent years farmers have had relatively good harvests and the country is self-sustaining.

Droughts and other forces of nature could however quickly change the situation and then thousands of tonnes of basic foodstuffs will need to be imported, as has happened before.

The situation needs to be discussed with government and the dangers highlighted. Steytler nevertheless believes that the grain farmers are able to produce sufficient food.

The agricultural sector has in recent times been singled out for unacceptable rhetoric and generalisations, whereas a non-racial democratic dispensation needs to be developed, says Steytler.

If an agriculturist transgresses the law, he should be tried and punished. The entire agricultural sector should not then been tried from a political platform. “We will convey message on to government very clearly,” he says.

Relations between the agricultural sector and government are also soured by comments that farmers are unwilling to participate in land reform. There is evidence to the contrary and remarks such as these cause frustration in the commercial agricultural sector, he says.

He believes that the voice of reason in organised agriculture - both economically and constitutionally - is coming from people in government circles. He hopes to meet and befriend those individuals.

With reference to Grain SA’s involvement in transformation, Steytler says the assistance being offered to emerging farmers speaks for itself. There are few, if any, other agricultural organisations that do as much to support emerging farmers.

Government needs to clearly instruct its support base to participate in the processes of organised agriculture.

To the grain farmers he said that every generation blames the previous one for what it inherits. “I am convinced that we have the capacity and skills to make a difference and leave our children a better South Africa.”  

Related News

Health innovation is an opportunity for South African brands across multiple industries
23/09/2019 - 14:22
With government striving to pass legislation to create a National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme to serve all South Africans, the country’s health and wellness market is in flux. Along with the global trends reshaping the sector, this is a recipe for massive change and disruption that could have wide implications for consumer brands in every segment.

Digital footprint helps farmers step into future
22/09/2019 - 09:59
The potential to increase Africa’s agricultural yields through the strategic use of data could place the continents’ farmers at the heart of tomorrow’s global economy.

Multi-million rand Rustenburg Mall underway
09/09/2019 - 11:07
Rustenburg shoppers can look forward to a brand new shopping centre – Rustenburg Mall – set to introduce its first phase in April 2021.

Introducing the Cape Fine and Rare Wine Auction
23/08/2019 - 10:07
With the world market increasingly focused on the fine and rare wines from South Africa, the Cape Winelands is in a stronger position than ever to showcase its fine wine investments. This year, the Cape Winelands is proud to host its first-ever Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction, an evolution of the historic Nederburg Auction in 1975.

Boost for SA's economy as China lifts its beef ban
07/08/2019 - 09:10
Within one month of the meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Xi Jinping at the G20, China has announced that it is lifting the ban on South African beef exports to China. This will be a major boost to South Africa’s economy given that China is the largest consuming market for South African beef and related products.