Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

ANC treats agricultural sector like unwanted child

(Parliamentary debate: Strengthening the agriculture and poultry sectors as a catalyst for economic development in South Africa and Africa)

Despite the enormous contribution that the agricultural sector makes to the South African economy, the ANC government treats it like an unwanted child.

The Department of Agriculture’s failure to assist farmers by providing the necessary vaccines against preventable diseases, waning municipal services, corruption, and the collapse of the country’s roads, railway networks and ports all contribute to higher input costs thereby hindering the expansion of agricultural activities.

If farmers did not have to pay for repairing roads and other infrastructure, which is government’s responsibility, they could have used those funds for the benefit of their local communities and the rest of the country.

In addition, policy uncertainty and factors such as property rights, illegal occupations, land grabs, farm attacks, farm murders and restricted access to markets also contribute to the lack of new investments in the agricultural sector.

South Africa has one of the largest agricultural economies in Africa. It is not only crucial for food security, but also serves as an economic driving force.

Agriculture is, furthermore, a significant provider of job opportunities, particularly in rural areas, and contributes approximately 2,5% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In 2020, the agricultural sector grew with 13% despite the ANC government’s onslaught on the sector.

The poultry industry is the greatest contributor to the agricultural sector in the country. In 2020, the sector contributed 18% to the total value of agricultural production and 41% to the country’s total livestock production.

According to the South African Poultry Association, the broiler industry’s gross value increased to R59 billion in 2022 compared to R47 billion in 2019, while the gross value of the egg-laying industry grew from R10,6 billion in 2019 to R12,6 billion by the end of 2022.

Despite all this, government still refuses to assist the industry with the latest outbreak of bird flu in the country.

The agricultural sector has the potential to act as a catalyst for economic growth, but then government needs to do its part.

That will not happen while the ANC is in power, though.

The only solution is to get rid of the ANC government in 2024 and replace it with a competent coalition government of which the FF Plus is part.

Such a coalition government will enable the agricultural sector to act as a catalyst for economic growth and progress.



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