Zulu King's farms need govt investment

2013-06-20 21:55
King Goodwill Zwelithini (Picture: AFP)

King Goodwill Zwelithini (Picture: AFP)

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Pietermaritzburg - A recent study on Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's farms has found that most of them are not financially viable, KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.

"A feasibility study on these farms and domestic fields was conducted by the department of agriculture and they were found to be high risk and economically not viable," he said in the provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg.

Mkhize was tabling a R63m budget for the royal household department for the 2013/2014 financial year.

Of this R3.7m was allocated for farms. He said the king used 10 locations for agricultural purposes, but only two of them were proper farms.

The two - Thokazi, a 156ha farm, and Zwartkop, of 1561ha - had 1000 sheep and 277 cattle.

Mkhize said of the other farms: "They are small in size, are in a poor condition, some are overgrazed.... They have no irrigation, no animal handling infrastructure, limited water resources, while others are not suitable for cultivation."

Following the study, the royal household trust would determine whether all the farms were viable, he said.

Mkhize said the assistance provided to the king, especially for farming, was aimed at ensuring the royal household did not rely on public funds.

"In order to initiate proper commercial farming, the department of agriculture will assist in a process which will involve rendering advice on technical support, investment and a strategy to maximise productivity on those farms."

It would also consider procuring viable farms, to be run on "proper farming principles".

Read more on:    goodwill zwelithini  |  pietermaritzburg  |  royalty

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