19.09.2010

Struggling farmers urged to diversify

Farmers rattled by rising input costs and falling commodity prices are being

urged to diversify and cash in on the growing agricultural tourism, or agritourism,

market.

According to estimates from GrainSA, an association representing farmers growing soya

beans, sunflower, maize and wheat, between 20% and 30% of its members face bankruptcy.

The association's members have four million tons of maize surpluses in silos.

By the government's own admission, nine out of 10 farms have degenerated to a lack of

productivity. Statistics show that the number of farms has declined by 20000 since 1993,

leaving 300000 workers without jobs. Employment in the sector has dropped from more than

a million to 796800.

Farmers rattled by rising input costs and falling commodity prices are being

urged to diversify and cash in on the growing agricultural tourism, or agritourism,

market.

According to estimates from GrainSA, an association representing farmers growing soya

beans, sunflower, maize and wheat, between 20% and 30% of its members face bankruptcy.

The association's members have four million tons of maize surpluses in silos.

By the government's own admission, nine out of 10 farms have degenerated to a lack of

productivity. Statistics show that the number of farms has declined by 20000 since 1993,

leaving 300000 workers without jobs. Employment in the sector has dropped from more than

a million to 796800. To download this article, click here.

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