South African farmers are very old. Expect food shortages soon, warns Deloitte

The average South African farmer is 62 year old; a fact that could see the nation change, within the next 20 years, from a net food producer into a country with a shortage of food.

Import or go hungry?

“We will soon have to import a lot of the things we produce at home if we don’t groom and support farmers,” says Deloitte Senior Associate Omri van Zyl.

“Breeding of farmers needs to start at tertiary level and perhaps we could look at a subsidy system as well,” says Van Zyl.

Security of tenure is vital

"Security of tenure is important for two reasons,” says Van Zyl. “One; so that the banks may collateralise land and the other is more of a psychological thing.

“Agriculture isn’t an easy business to manage. So as we go through this process it will be a process of consultation and finding the balance between a commercially sustainable industry and job creation.”

Van Zyl warns of a dire future for South Africa if young people don’t want to work as farmers.

Listen to the audio for more detail.

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