Hankey farmers receive tractor power

2015-07-09 06:00
Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas (left) and emerging farmers Mzikazi Mjako and Nosanele van Rooyen prepare to test drive the tractor that was donated to emerging farmers from Hankey by the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform.

Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas (left) and emerging farmers Mzikazi Mjako and Nosanele van Rooyen prepare to test drive the tractor that was donated to emerging farmers from Hankey by the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform.

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EMERGING farmers from Hankey received a shot in the arm in their quest to become successful commercial farmers, when the MEC of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, donated a tractor to them.

The tractor comes with a row picket planter, fertiliser sprinkler, boom sprayer, harrowing discs and a cultivator, at a cost of some R700 000.

Also included are 400 litres of diesel, sponsored by the department. Fencing material will follow in due course.

The donation comes after the MEC visited the area in September last year. He was immediately drawn to the plight of the emerging farmers who were plying their trade under difficult circumstances due to a lack of resources.

They took the MEC to their fields where they had planted potatoes, cabbages and other agricultural produce and asked for assis-tance. The donation was the result of their endurance.

At the handover function of the vehicle, Qoboshiyane said the group of farmers, from Milton and Weston, was a good example of people-driven economic development and it was only right for Government to assist them in expanding.

“During this month where we are celebrating 60 years of the Freedom Charter, we are fulfilling one its commitments. The Charter says ‘The state shall help peasants (farmers) with implements, seeds, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist tillers’. We are translating these words into reality,” he said.

“When we come back here, we want to be told that the people of Hankey are preoccupied in making their land productive and economically viable. Land is what we have as a resource and we should exploit this resource, not only for subsistence, but as an economic catalyst,” said Qoboshiyane.

Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas said emerging farmers were crucial roleplayers in local economic development and poverty eradication.

“We want to see you employing and training young people in farming as a liberating and viable option of economic development.”

Delivering a word of thanks on behalf of the farmers, Willem van Rooyen said they were happy to be witnesses to Government fulfilling its promises.

“We have spent many years struggling. Your office has responded promptly and we are very happy that we did not despair and that you found us active,” he said

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