Protecting food security by regulating farm size: DOI hosts Dpt of Agriculture

In 2016, the Dullah Omar Institute, together with Stephen Berrisford, made a submission to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The submission dealt with the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill, 2016. The Bill limits development on agricultural land to protect agricultural production and thereby food security. One of the thrusts of the Bill is to discourage the subdivision of farms.

On 24 January 2017, the Institute hosted representatives of the Department to discuss the submission, particularly as it relates to the role of municipalities. The discussion focused on three issues. Firstly, the national government may not interfere with municipal land use decisions. Secondly, it does have a legitimate interest in discouraging inappropriate development on agricultural land. Lastly, there is also considerable debate about whether limiting farm subdivision is the appropriate response to protecting food security.

The Department reported that the Bill had changed significantly and was influenced considerably by the DOI's submission.

More information: Prof Jaap de Visser