If the proposed deal goes through, it could be one of the biggest such land agreements on the continent and would cover an area more than twice the size of
“If they go as a private funder, they must be willing to take the risk as any other private funder,” Tina Joemat-Pettersson told Reuters in an interview.
Large swathes of arable but fallow land in Africa have prompted rich countries, such as
The land acquisition phenomenon has been called exploitative by activists and prompted the World Bank and European Union to call for guidelines. Some activists have criticised the deals as “land grabs.”
Joemat-Pettersson said the plans by South African farmers were private investments, rather than government-backed.
“These are private investments and we couldn’t be able to stop them, but we couldn’t be able to guarantee them any protection from risk,” she said on the sidelines of an Africa agribusiness conference in
“We have also spoken about security of tenure and security of land, that they should understand the policies of the countries they are investing in, particularly around land.”
She said similar cases had turned out badly.
“We had high risk impacts in
“We are not trying to scare away South African investments in the rest of
The new minister said one of her priorities will be to reduce production costs so that
“With the current global economic crisis it is important that as
“One of our priorities will be to reduce production costs so that instead of our country being a net importer of food, that in the next five years we regain our status as a net exporter.
“Our priority is to make food available in a sustainable fashion, use sustainable agricultural methods…such as organic farming, to ensure that at the end of the day we have agro-processing and agro-industries but we do not compromise food security,” Joemat-Pettersson said.