Land and food go hand in glove

OF THE world's six billion people a billion - 100million more than last year - do not have enough food to eat. T he World Food Programme has warned that this figure is growing very fast .

One in five South African households do not have enough food or enough money to buy food. South Africa is now a net importer of food. Its farmers are not producing enough basic foods such as grain and prices remain high.

It is amazing that in the midst of this crisis farmers and opposition parties such as the DA, IFP and ID continue to say the land reform process undermines food security.

They blame the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform for the food crisis but 87percent of agricultural land belongs to white farmers.

Why are they not to blame?

The problem is that the agricultural sector has not played the important economic, social and rural development role it should have. The sector needs to reform if it is to provide long-term food security.

The need to reform commercial agriculture has been complicated and even overshadowed by the political imperative of land reform. Despite the government's efforts to transfer 30precent of white-owned land to black farmers by 2014, only about 5percent has been redistributed.

Land reform cannot be blamed for undermining food security, given the small amount of white-owned commercial land that has been redistributed.

A much greater threat to food security is the global financial, energy, food and climate crises.

Tshepo Diale, GaRankuwa

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