Call for emerg­ing farmer sup­port to en­sure suc­cess

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Larry Bent­ley

THE Inkatha Free­dom Party in KZN com­mended Coca-Cola Bev­er­ages South Africa for al­lo­cat­ing R400-mil­lion to sup­port emerg­ing farm­ers.

The party says this rep­re­sents a step in the right di­rec­tion.

IFP spokesper­son on Agri­cul­ture, Nh­lanhla Msi­mango said, ‘We call upon other com­pa­nies to em­u­late what Co­caCola Bev­er­ages South Africa has ini­ti­ated.

‘It is also very pleas­ing to see that the pri­vate sec­tor is tak­ing an­other step in the right di­rec­tion in the em­pow­er­ment of emerg­ing farm­ers.

‘We would like to see more KZN emerg­ing farm­ers ben­e­fit­ing from this ini­tia­tive.’

More sup­port needed

Msi­mango said sup­port for emerg­ing farm­ers would en­able the gov­ern­ment to im­prove the par­tic­i­pa­tion of black South Africans in com­mer­cial agri­cul­ture and must be given to all emerg­ing farm­ers.

To achieve suc­cess, emerg­ing farm­ers re­quire a com­pre­hen­sive agribusi­nesses sup­port pack­age, in­clud­ing ac­cess to fund­ing, pro­vi­sion of tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise and men­tor­ship and con­tracted mar­kets.

With­out this nec­es­sary sup­port they will not suc­ceed in farm­ing.

In­vest­ing in emerg­ing farm­ers is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the en­tire sec­tor.

‘While a great deal of ex­cel­lent work is al­ready being done by a large num­ber of agri­cul­ture busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions, mega farm­ers and some com­mer­cial farm­ers, there is still much to be done,’ said Msi­mango.

Gov­ern­ment must spell out its in­ten­tions with the agricultural sec­tor, which is also among the big­gest em­ploy­ment providers.

Emerg­ing farm­ers re­quire sub­si­dies and as­sis­tance from gov­ern­ment and cor­po­rate South Africa.

‘Agri­cul­ture is the back­bone of the econ­omy, yet we treat it like some stepchild,’ said Msi­mango.

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