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South African Grain Farmers Want Land Ownership Cap Plan Cut

In February, South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma introduced the Regulation of Land Ownership Bill designed to address economic disparities between black and white farmers that grew under apartheid. Under the bill, land ownership would be limited to 12,000 hectares (29,652 acres) or two title deeds. Excess land would be bought and redistributed. The imposed limits would be applied retrospectively.

South Africa is Africa’s largest corn producer, its second largest wheat producer after Ethiopia, and the world’s third largest fresh citrus exporter after Spain and Egypt. Farmers in the country are concerned about the two-deed limit clause in the bill, as some farmers have pieced together their operations under as many as 10 deeds, adding that land ownership limits would compromise the country’s food production while discouraging investment.

The Agri-sector Unity Forum, which represents the four main growers associations in the country, will be collecting comments and new proposals for the redistribution of agricultural land to be delivered to the government by the end of March.

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