South Africa has lost up to 50% of its farmers who have either left the industry or are now farming in countries such as Zambia, Mozambique and Brazzaville Congo.
Many farmers have attributed their decision to leave to uncertainty regarding land policies, farm attacks and high input costs.
President of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions, Theo de Jager says this poses a threat to food security.
“I think the biggest single challenge going forward with food security in South Africa is the lack of enough commercial farmers. The number of commercial farmers dropped over the last decade with more than 50%,” says de Jager.
He says that it would be a good idea if beneficiaries of land reform and new entrants into the industry can make their stand as commercial farmers.
“So our challenge in this generation is to get the beneficiaries of land reform to become profitable.”