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Farm prices in South Africa have plunged by a third since the ruling party decided to seek a change to the constitution to make it easier to expropriate land without compensation, and as commodity prices fell due to bumper harvests following a drought.

The average price of agricultural land sold in July was 9,318 rand ($614) a hectare compared with 13,700 rand in December, when the African National Congress adopted the policy, Johann Bornman, an economist who is the chairman of Agri Development Solutions, said by phone Monday. He utilizes data from the country’s Deeds Office, which maintains the property registry. The information was first published in Afrikaans-language Rapport newspaper Sunday.

The ANC’s move has added to wider emerging-market jitters in knocking South African assets. Critics of the plan and investors say the move could lead to an erosion of property rights. The party says more needs to be done to correct racially skewed land-ownership patterns dating back to colonial and apartheid rule. While there’s widespread consensus that land reform needs to be accelerated, views on how it should be done are widely divergent.

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Farming Diary

Oct
8

10.08.2018 - 10.12.2018

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