Nkwinti: Black farmers must speak out

2010-11-20 20:07

Bloemfontein - South Africa needs to hear from black commercial farmers who are passionate about what they do, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said on Saturday.

"We want to hear that often," Nkwinti told a gathering of black farmers and officials at a Red Meat Pilot Project in the Free State.

The event followed eleven partnership agreements formalised between eleven black Free State farmers and the Bloemfontein Abattoir.

The project entailed providing cattle to the farmer and then helping them to become fully commercial red meat producers within the red meat value chain.

The project fell under the department's recapitalisation programme, aiming to increasing agricultural production, to guarantee food security, to stimulate job creation and to graduate small scale farmers to commercial farmers in the agricultural sector.

'Not talking, but doing'

The farmers would run their red meat production arms under the eye of the department and Bloemfontein Abattoir.

Nkwinti said the success of the programme would be confirmed when black commercial farmers could "stand alone".

The minister warned that establishing black commercial farmers was not a "talking thing" but "a doing thing, a farming thing, a business thing".

Free State farmer Pitso Sekhoto, speaking on behalf of the 11 farmers involved in the project declared proudly that he was now a proper commercial farmer.

"I am proud to say I am a South African commercial farmer, I can compete with any farmer of any colour now."

Sekhoto said he received some R9m from the government to buy a Free State farm and he developed it to its current worth of an estimated R16m.

When to 'stop emerging'

He supplied milk to Woolworths and apples to fresh produce markets in Gauteng. He also bred cattle.

"We need to stand up as farmers because we as commercial farmers still need the help of government," he said.

He urged emergent black farmers to "make things happen".

"They sit and do nothing. Go out and make things happen," he said, adding that he did not leave the corporate world to come and relax on his farm.

"I want to make a success, I want to be judged on what I do."

Free State MEC for rural development Fezi Ngubentombi said government liked emergent farmers to say they were not emerging anymore.

"It must stop somewhere."

She commended black farmers for moving forward and not waiting around for government money.

  • Sadness - 2010-11-20 20:37

    Good approach Minister, and well done to Mr Sekhoto. We should support all attempts that allow people to become not only self sufficient, but to actually develop into successful farmers/businessman/entrepreneurs through hard graft and effort, and I think to be successful in farming requires exactly that and also a passion for the land and its animals, and not just government money and support. Good luck, and make it work so that it can be used as a successful model for future/further projects

  • Francois - 2010-11-21 08:18

    I must agree with Sadness - good approach Minister. I however think that after 16 years of democracy, we must also hear of a lot of scuccessful black farmers and 90% success ratio in the land that has been reformed. We must also hear of prison sentences for those who have stolen development money. We must hear that government also have done their bit. We must also hear from government of the white farmers that treat their workers according to law. In short we must hear about successes all the way round and not about passion. We all know what passion gave the Honourable Khoza daughter with the president. We don't care about passion - we want food security and political stability, otherwise Minister you can be the Proteas Cricket Captain - they care about passion and not about winning.

  • Boerseun - 2010-11-21 13:17

    Well one swallow does not make a summer, but at least it is a start. The ANC regime however will never end this developmental state, nor their AA or BBEE evil. it does not suit them, as it will stop the free for all flow of money into their pockets.

  • Mart - 2010-11-21 15:51

    Hats off to these emerging black farmers. Like it or not the eyes of the country are on you so make your ventures work, treat your labourers right, pay them the minimum wage, make friends with and if need be take advice from experienced white farmers, don't play a political game, be your own man/woman, work hard and know everything that goes on at the farm every hour of every day. May the weather and all other influences be in your favour and.....feed us!

  • ChumScrubber - 2010-11-22 06:04

    Thats it, the only way to create black commercial farmers is identifying people who actually want to farm, and then help them. The current state of giving land to communities is a disaster, and I'm glad they have accepted that. Land reform could have been at an advanced stage by now if it had not been so politicised. The 90% failure rate was not necessesary, it has cost a fortune in money and lost self esteem.

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