Agri-business: dept to provide funds for youth

2011-06-29 00:00

LYDIA Johnson, the MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development, said her department will make more funds available to support agricultural initiatives for the youth.

Johnson was speaking during a provincial youth summit on sustainable agricultural development held at Cedara yesterday.

The aim of the summit is to involve the youth in agri-business to promote economic development and create sustainable income-generating and environmental management projects.

During the discussion youths raised a number of issues that impede their success in agriculture. These include the lack of financial and technical support from the department, sustainable measures to implement youth projects, access to markets and sustainable environmental management.

They called for a budget review for youth projects, improved communication with youth structures and facilitation of access to markets.

Johnson encouraged the youth to work towards projects that make a tangible difference.

“We want to support you so that your efforts may begin to translate into tangible benefits in food security programmes and the economic development of our province.”

Department head Sizwe Mkhize told the young people that the department will give them 100% financial support if they come up with sound and sustainable environmental and agricultural projects.

Department spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda said that while the department is not at liberty to pronounce on any increases of the budget, it will be increased to support farming initiatives for the youth.

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