The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development announced last week that members of the public will be able to apply to lease 896 vacant farms that measures to 700 000 hectares of underutilised or vacant state land in seven provinces as part of the government’s contribution to the land reform programme.
South Africa has vast tracts of land suitable for agricultural production with 37,9% of our total land area currently being used for commercial agriculture. The availability and sustainable use of farmland to grow crops for food security is essential for our key survival and the right to food is enshrined in the South African Constitution and broadening access to land opportunities for farming will encourage job creation, enterprise development and improves the market for food, agricultural goods and services.
Agriculture is critically vital to the country’s economic well-being and broadening access to agricultural land for commercial production and subsistence farming therefore becomes a national priority, in stabilising the economy.
It is basic source of food supply of all countries of the world whether developed, underdeveloped or developing. Agriculture advancement, therefore, is necessary for improving the supply of raw materials for agro-based industries especially in developing countries.
Furthermore, agriculture plays an important role in decreasing rural poverty and will see an increase in entrepreneurship and developments within communities. The agricultural sector can only further develop if and only everyone in society is willing to take the responsibility to sustain a society that has sufficient food supply for our future generation and a rapid growth in the economy.