Ideological and factional divisions and contradictions between neoliberals, ‘patrons’ and progressives have manifested in South Africa’s smallholder farmer support policy. This was evident at a national stakeholder consultation held by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in April 2019.
The policy is meant to support marginalised producers. But it has been thoroughly captured by neoliberals under the banner of the National Development Plan (NDP). The Agricultural Policy Action Plan (APAP) – which is based on the NDP – lists focus crops and products defined by commercial potential, with emphasis on global competitiveness, export markets, value chain integration, and public-private partnerships. In this framework, state and capital work closely to reproduce capital-intensive production models.