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October 02, 2012

South African land reform: more attention paid to supporting new farmers

Land reform in South Africa is far deeper than just an agricultural issue, but making viable commercial farmers out of land recipients is vital. But it is far from easy necessarily quick.

In recent years focus has been shifting from simply evaluating the success or failure of the reform effort based on how much land has been transferred from ‘old’ white farmers to ‘new’ black farmers. The historical-political-racial aspects of current land distribution patterns and how to change them were the main focus of the early post-apartheid land reform efforts. There was relatively little attention paid to how well the new recipients of land would economically fare for themselves and for the country.

South Africa has learned expensive lessons from that early land reform experience. There is increasing awareness of the need to accompany any land transfers with appropriate agricultural support for the new farmers, as this article explains.

African Agriculture

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