Farmer’s weekly, Nan Smith, 23 March 2015

The wildlife ranching and game management industry was well-positioned to benefit rural communities, create jobs and bring about land reform as long as the free market system was in place, said Barry York of Wildlife Ranching SA, at a recent Land Reform Indaba.

He urged caution when it came to the matter of foreign ownership of land, saying that international trade and foreign investment were critical to the game industry.

No animal had as much potential for positive economic outcomes in rural transformation as the rhino, he added. Rhino horn was now worth an estimated R700 000/kg which could be harvested from animals without killing them.

Communities would certainly work towards protecting such an asset, said York.

“We need foreign investment,” said Jeff Every, Eastern Cape transformation leader. “I don’t care where the money comes from; my job is to uplift communities.”

Everyone says there are too many unemployed young people in the country. Partnerships, significant funding, a decent policy environment, and keeping the focus on business is the way to grow a vibrant, young, black commercial farming sector.