Agriculture MEC must provide emerging farmers with promised relief

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga agriculture MEC Violet Siwela must honour her department’s promises of disaster relief to emerging farmers who lost over 1700 heads of cattle during heavy hail storms in late 2012.

The DA today supported the Thembisile Hani/Dr JS Moroka emerging farmers association as their representatives handed over a memorandum of demands to departmental officials near Vlaklaagte.

Click here to view the memorandum.

In their memorandum, the farmers demanded compensation for the loss of their cattle, as well as further sustainable measures to ensure a better and more prosperous future for them and their families.

Should the department not accede to the emerging farmers’ demands within 14 days, the association has promised intensified action.

The DA is highly concerned over the ANC-led government’s seeming disregard for emerging farmers and its opposition to removing barriers to their entry into the mainstream commercial agricultural economy.

While its national and provincial leaders constantly use land and agriculture to drum up political support among the rural poor, the ANC missed a perfect opportunity to put its money where its mouth is, and all but doomed hundreds of households to a life of poverty and despair.

Emerging farmers must be assisted, supported and encouraged so that they too can reap the benefits of commercial farming practises. By entering into partnerships with established commercial enterprises, emerging farmers will acquire the necessary skills and access to markets – giving them the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their children.

The DA will continue in our fight to ensure that emerging farmers across Mpumalanga will not suffer from the ANC’s short-sightedness.