KZN small farmers to get R164 mln

2011-07-01 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL is going to receive R164,6 million as part of the efforts by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to establish commercially orientated smallholder farms in the rural areas, the ministry announced recently.

Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said the department plans to establish about 50 000 commercially orientated smallholder farmers focusing on homelands. A total of 15 000 smallholder farmers have been targeted for the 2011/12 financial year.

The initiative is part of the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme.

The minister said smallholder farmers must be placed at the centre of rural economies, since they represent the bulk of the food insecurity in developing countries. She said increasing their production and access to markets will improve access and affordability of food amongst the most vulnerable.

She said the department needs to encourage development and implementation of further programmes in agriculture and rural development that promote sustainable production.

“Providing market information, access to markets, increased investment in research and technology development, and infrastructure remain priorities.”

Announcing her budget for smallholder farms, she said at least R1 billion has been set aside for the farming projects. She said

KwaZulu-Natal will receive R164,6 million, Eastern Cape R174,9 million; Free State R102,9 million, Gauteng R41,1 million, LimpopoR154,3 million, Mpumalanga R102,9 million, Northern Cape R72,05 million, North West R133,8 million and the Western Cape R82,3 million.

The “smallholder development plan” will be developed to strengthen co-ordination with provinces in regard to the support of 15 000 smallholder farmers, she said.

These farmers will be established where there is a large concentration of subsistence producers, and the smallholders will be supported on land acquired through land reform.

— Witness Reporter.

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