Gcina Ntsaluba
1 minute read
24 Jan 2020
6:40 am

Junk-rated Land Bank needs overhaul – African farmers’ body

Gcina Ntsaluba

'Our government up to now does not show the boldness of investing in emerging farmers,' Afasa secretary Nakana Masoka said.

Gert Sibande district farmer Micheal Mbukeni speaks to The Citizen at his farm on the outskirts of Piet Retief in Mpumalanga, 14 February 2018, about his struggles to secure farming equipment from the government to work his land. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The African Farmers’ Association of SA (Afasa) has called for strengthening state-owned agricultural entities and cautioned against privatisation, after Moody’s rating agency downgraded the Land Bank to junk status on Wednesday. The move was of “great concern”, considering the bank’s role as the government entity responsible for providing funding to farmers. Afasa aims to develop competent and successful commercial African farmers. “As Afasa, we conceptualised Commercialisation of Black Farmers in 2015 and presented a memorandum in that regard. The government has since tried a number of models without consulting us, resulting in total failure of its initiatives,” said secretary Nakana...