|Author:||Ortmann, G. F.|
|Book Group Author:||NA|
South African (SA) farmers are faced with a dynamic global economic and trade environment caused by the liberalization of international markets and rapid advances in information and communication technologies. In addition to dealing with the deregulation of domestic agricultural markets in the 1990s, SA farmers also have to adapt to a dynamic political environment and other challenges, including land reform, AgriBEE (black economic empowerment in agriculture), new labour legislation and minimum wages, property taxes, skills levies, uncertain water rights, HIV/AIDS, a volatile exchange rate, and high transport and communication costs. The main factors that will help promote the competitiveness of SA farmers, and the agricultural sector in general, include: good governance at all levels of government and industry; institutional innovations for commercial and small-scale farmers; improvement in the quality of (school) education (particularly in mathematics and science) and skills training; promotion of research in agriculture; and farmers' adoption of new technologies. It is suggested that the government should: (a) focus its relatively scarce resources on providing physical infrastructure (especially improved transport and communication infrastructure) and legal infrastructure (secure property rights and contract enforcement) to reduce transaction costs, including risk, so that markets for products and resources work more efficiently; (b) relax restrictive labour laws; (c) reduce uncertainty regarding land claims, AgriBEE and the rural land tax; (d) improve efficiency in disbursing LRAD grants to approved projects; (e) reduce crime rates; and (f) promote education, agricultural R&D and skills training.
|Pages:||286 - 320|
acquired immune deficiency syndrome, agriculturaldevelopment, agricultural law, agricultural policy, agriculturalresearch, agricultural sector, agricultural situation, blacks,constraints, education, empowerment, foreign exchange, government,infrastructure, innovation adoption, institutions, labour, land reform,land tax, property rights, training, wage rates, South Africa, SouthernAfrica, Africa South of Sahara, Africa, Developing Countries, ThresholdCountries, Anglophone Africa, Commonwealth of Nations, transactioncosts, Research (AA500), Education and Training (CC100), Extension andAdvisory Work (CC200), Agencies and Organizations (DD100), Laws andRegulations (DD500), Agricultural Economics (EE110), Policy and Planning(EE120), Structure, Ownership and Tenure (EE165), Investment, Financeand Credit (EE800), Labour and Employment (EE900), Public Services andInfrastructure (UU300), Social Psychology and Social Anthropology(UU485) (New March 2000)