Agri­cul­ture in bud­get wel­comed

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Agri­cul­ture in bud­get wel­comed

De­spite very dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han de­liv­ered a bud­get that was in­dica­tive of his re­al­i­sa­tion that the cur­rent eco­nomic tra­jec­tory is un­sus­tain­able and that a new ap­proach is re­quired.

This is the view of Jo­hannes Möller, pres­i­dent of Agri SA, who said the Min­is­ter em­pha­sised the need for the econ­omy to grow above the pro­jected growth rate of 1.3% as this falls well short of NDP goals and is not suf­fi­cient to re­duce un­em­ploy­ment or im­pact sig­nif­i­cantly on poverty and in­equal­ity.

“As was in­di­cated by the Min­is­ter a joint ef­fort by all stake­hold­ers will be re­quired to achieve this goal,” he said, adding that from an agri­cul­tural per­spec­tive, the R30 bil­lion spend on agri­cul­ture, ru­ral de­vel­op­ment and land re­form over the medium term is ap­pre­ci­ated pro­vided it will serve the pur­pose of what it is in­tended for.

“The fo­cus of this spend­ing should be on com­mer­cial

agri­cul­ture, namely mov­ing land re­form ben­e­fi­cia­ries to­wards com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion and in­creas­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity of ex­ist­ing com­mer­cial agri­cul­ture,” he said. “It is also crit­i­cal that we find in­no­va­tive tech­nics to at­tract young peo­ple in the sec­tor. Land re­form must pri­ori­tise will­ing and ca­pa­ble young farm­ers, and most of the spend­ing in Agri­cul­ture must be di­rected to­wards this pur­pose. This is very im­por­tant for the sus­tain­abil­ity of the sec­tor.”

Dr John Pur­chase, CEO of Ag­biz said the bud­get speech seems to of­fer some scope for im­proved sec­tor trans­for­ma­tion through farmer sup­port and de­vel­op­ment, with bud­get al­lo­ca­tion in­creas­ing by 10% to R3.79 bil­lion, from

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