Alternatives to private land ownership

Private agricultural land ownership is a scarce in Africa, according to Pierre Vercueil, Agri North West president.

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He said South African landowners and agricultural producers would be well advised to take cognisance of alternative systems for accessing land, in use elsewhere on the continent.

“Private land ownership in Africa is largely confined to South Africa. It has, however, become a contentious issue given the emphasis on land reform. While ownership of land needs to be protected at all cost, it will be remiss of the commercial agricultural sector in SA not to familiarise itself with the alternative systems that are in place in the rest of Africa,” he said at the 2016 Agri North West Young Farmer Conference in Lichtenburg.

“The devil is in the detail, pertaining to systems such as the leasehold system in Botswana [for example],” he said.

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Issues that needed to be ironed out were the transferability of the lease, the depreciation or appreciation of improvements on the land, and the revenue systems applicable.