Some thoughts on farming in SA.
Since 1991 the number of commercial farmers in SA has decreased from 120,000 to less than 40,000 today. Due to ever increasing costs it takes large scale farming to make a profit. Fuel, fertilizer, tractors and implements have become very expensive, The number of farm labourers has also decreased drastically adding to our already large numbers of unemployed people. Farmers in SA receive no subsidies or other help from the Government.
South African farmers are highly productive. Our soils are shallow and poor and our rainfall very unpredictable, yet farmers are able to produce enough to feed a growing population at a reasonable price. South Africa also exports huge amounts of fruit, meat, maize, wool and other products overseas adding to our export earnings.
Many SA farmers have sought greener pastures in countries to our north. Mozambique, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the DRC, SAAGRI, the SA farmer organization has acquired the lease on millions of hectares of land. Even countries as far afield as Sudan has SA farmers. In spite of the fertility of these countries, they produce very little agriculturally. A country like Nigeria, which has a high rainfall and very fertile soil, imports most of it's food. Some of these governments offer almost free land and all sorts of tax incentives to farmers who wish to settle and farm there.
Some say that we will end up importing most of our food from our northern neighbours if the trend continues.