Farmer unions divided over Afgri deal

The proposed buyout of agri services and industrial food processing group Afgri by an international consortium has alarmed the African Farmers Union (Afasa), which has called on the ministers of trade and industry and agriculture, rural development and land reform to step in and prevent the deal.

- Advertisement -

“We understand and support the need for foreign investment. However, this is not an investment in South Africa and in South African assets but blatant stealing of a cheap asset built by the state and South African commercial farmers,” said Afasa secretary-general Aggrey Mahanjana.

However, the National African Farmers Union, which has held discussions with members of the BEE group that will partner Mauritius-based AgriGroupe, indicated it was in favour of the deal.

“We are of the opinion that this transaction will not only benefit the BEE groups involved, but will also give impetus to the transformation of agriculture in South Africa, and in the continent,” said the union.

- Advertisement -

Afgri CEO Chris Venter said Afgri was in the process of creating the best equity company in SA, with 35% allocated to AgriGroupe’s BEE consortium, and 26,77% of Afgri shares already held by a BEE consortium.

Twitter: @robynjoubert