Farmers' voices: practical perspectives on land reform and agricultural development | Land Portal

Informations sur la ressource

Date of publication: 
janvier 2008
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
eldis:A38014

This report details the findings of a round table discussion on land reform and agricultural development in South Africa convened by The Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) in October 2007. Bringing together a cross-section of farmers and other role players in agriculture from farming regions across the country, the round table discussion aimed to help identify a way forward for land restitution, redistributive justice and sustainable agriculture. The authors claim that important insights emerged from the discussion that are not being sufficiently emphasised in the ongoing public debate on land reform in the country. These include:

the extent of land under claim in commercial agriculture sectors (at least fifty percent in the sugar industry, thrity to forty percent in the timber industry)
the serious negative consequences of having such large tracts of land under claim for extended periods of time
the great likelihood that the restitution process will not be completed in 2008
the weakness of current state capacity, which is complicating the land restitution and redistribution process, and in many cases preventing the positive outcomes which the country needs
the disjuncture between current approaches to restitution and redistribution and the realities of commercial agriculture
the serious accumulation of negatives in the agricultural sector, leading to declining investment in the domestic sector and the diversification of South African agriculture to other countries

The authors conclude that land reform in any country is difficult, but that everyone has underestimated the complexity of getting this right in South Africa. They argue that a government-led environment must be urgently created in which frank discussion of the issues involved is encouraged and practical solutions found. The challenge is not the lack of goodwill, or farmers who are unwilling to participate positively in the process. Instead, they claim that a mix of dynamics - including the complexity of what is being attempted – are now producing a situation with unintended and serious negative consequences.

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

A. Bernstein (ed)
J. McCarthy (ed)
D. Shepherd

Fournisseur de données

eldis (ELDIS)

Eldis is an online information service providing free access to relevant, up-to-date and diverse research on international development issues. The database includes over 40,000 summaries and provides free links to full-text research and policy documents from over 8,000 publishers. Each document is selected by members of our editorial team.


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