DAFF annual report

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries presented its 2011/12 annual report and once again an unqualified audit report, to the Parliamentary oversight body the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, focusing on the implementation of Outcomes 4, 7 and 10.

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“Through the Integrated Growth and Development Plan of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sectors we will ensure that the sector responds to the above-mentioned plans in addressing national policies in food security and agrarian reform,” the Acting Director-General, Sipho Ntombela said.

The highlights of the annual report focused on performance improvement particularly on key campaigns for food security to mitigate high food prices and food security for vulnerable communities. “Price volatility is one of the issues representing a major threat to food security in developing countries, including South Africa. More than 11 million people are estimated already to be food insecure.” Ntombela said.

This would be addressed though increased production capacity of subsistence and smallholder farmers as well as promoting household food production. An estimated 72 000 smallholder farmers were reported to have received Comprehensive Agricultural Support, while over 47 000 subsistence farmers received production support.

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“The department has a positive outlook towards the future and has plans that have been approved and ready for implementation”, he continued.Meanwhile, the department commented on the non-existence of the R800 million claimed to have been committed to Nkandla. “All major government financial transactions or transfers of large budgets or sponsorships are subject to Treasury regulations and approvals. This can be verified with the National Treasury.” Ntombela concluded.