There is broad consensus that part of the reason why SA’s land reform programme has fallen short of expectation has been due, to some extent, to a lack of well-timed, co-ordinated and effective measures to support new farmers. Access to tailored seasonal finance, fair and equitable access to markets and supply chains, effective government regulation and management of standards, input supplies, and on-farm and off-farm infrastructure (such as roads and silos) all form part of a holistic set of post-settlement support measures that have to be delivered at the right time and place, in order to give land reform beneficiaries a fair chance to succeed. One of the most important yet contentious parts of post-settlement support is government subsidies. These can include low-interest loans, low-cost to free inputs, and concessionary lending for equipment and machinery. The reason subsidies are an intensely contentious issue has to do with how inefficiently they could be managed at government...

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