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'Private sector must play role in emerging farmers to ensure food security'

2 June 2020 7:33 AM

AgriSA deputy executive director Christo van der Heeder reflects on what is happening with the Land Bank.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the South African economy, with unemployment and hunger becoming reality in many communities.

RELATED: South Africa has enough food to last even beyond lockdown - Thoko Didiza

Many businesses had to stop production during the lockdown which was meant to flatten the curve of the virus.

Bongani Bingwa chats to Agri SA deputy executive director Christo van der Heeder to discuss how the agriculture was impacted by COVID-19

The agricultural sector was very fortunate in that we were allowed to continue with business during the lockdown and we were declared an essential service at the beginning of the pandemic.

Christo van der Heeder, Deputy executive director - Agri SA

South Africa is in a very fortunate position in that farmers have continued to farm thus there are no problems with supplying food to the market, he says.

If a farmer doesnt have access to production loans, that farmer wont be able to farm or produce any food. It is worrisome that the Land Bank which has played an instrumental role in the development of emerging farmers has serious liquidity problems.

Christo van der Heeder, Deputy executive director - Agri SA

He says the Land Bank post 1994 became a commercial bank thus expecting farmers to pay for production loans.

You cannot expect an emerging farmer to pay commercial rates on any production loan. What will happen to those farmers who are clients of the Land Bank? The private sector has to play a bigger role in developing emerging farmers to ensure food security for the country.

Christo van der Heeder, Deputy executive director - Agri SA

Listen below to the full conversation:


2 June 2020 7:33 AM

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