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By Ed Stoddard BOTHAVILLE, South Africa (Reuters) - A proposal by the South African government to limit farm size to 12,000 hectares is a "negotiating tactic" as it tries to press ahead with the redistribution of land to black farmers, the minister of agriculture said. What informs the end of that figure is the process of negotiation," Senzeni Zokwana told Reuters when asked about the 12,000 hectare figure. Speaking on the sidelines of a conference organised by industry group Grain SA in the heart of the maize belt west of Johannesburg, Zokwana said whatever figure is eventually arrived at, farmers could lease additional land if they needed to for commercial reasons. It would also be good for farmers to come up with ideas that would not put food security at risk," he said. South Africa is forecast to harvest its smallest maize crop since 2007 because of a drought that has scorched large areas and Zokwana said the agriculture department might have to seek funding to ensure imports if they were needed. "Maize is one of our staple foods which our people depend upon so our department would approach other funding agencies," he said.