THE GOVERNMENT must act urgently to stop jobs being lost in the agriculture sector, the DA said yesterday. “According to Statistics SA, 73 000 jobs have been lost since the second quarter of last year. That means that we’ve lost almost 10 percent of all agricultural jobs in the last year,” DA MP Annette Steyn said. This was a massive loss, and extremely damaging to the rural economy. “As a labour-intensive industry, with the potential of absorbing tens of thousands of unemployed South Africans, we should be seeing the growth of commercial agriculture and development of the rural economy, instead of haemorrhaging jobs.” Steyn said the DA would write to agriculture portfolio committee chairwoman Rosina Semenya requesting that Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana present the committee with a plan to curb the high job losses. “The minister must, as a matter of extreme urgency, announce a plan to turn around the sector such that the goals of the National Development Plan can be achieved.” – Sapa