Sustainable agriculture

I have noticed that you regularly feature opinions that debate whether government should be focusing on policies that support subsistence or commercial, private or communal farming.

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I think these debates miss the point of what sustainable agriculture entails. The quote below, from a blog, says it all: For a sustainable and vibrant agriculture, “You need diversity in the sizes of farms, diversity in the kinds of farmers we have, diversity in the scales of agricultural production, rather than just all small farms or all big factory farms”.


In other words, for a thriving agricultural sector, one needs to stimulate as many different types of farming as possible, and this also means that the situation of each individual farmer, individual farm and the situation in each farming community also needs to be taken into consideration.

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In such a diverse country as South Africa, where we have vastly diverse climates and also come from diverse cultures and farming backgrounds, trying to take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to agriculture can only end in disaster.