Renewed efforts are being made to increase the share of black ownership in South Africa’s agricultural sector. The most recent plan, known as the Agriculture and Agro-Processing Master Plan, sets out to provide, among others, comprehensive farmer assistance, development finance, agricultural research and development and extension services. It also aims to increase the share of black ownership and the contribution of small-scale producers in the country by 2030.
The master plan has been signed by government and representatives from various businesses and civil society organisations within the agricultural sector. It is the first multi-stakeholder strategic plan in the country.
All parties are united in the opinion that the government needs to provide patient finance to allow farmers to build capabilities, accumulate returns and be profitable. This will safeguard the participation of smallholder farmers by allowing them to access more reliable and consistent markets. It will also benefit consumers through better quality produce and avoid potential food shortages in the wake of high inflation and the energy crisis in South Africa.