R15 million allocated to E Cape’s emerging farmers

The Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform recently allocated R15 million to the supply of livestock and improvement of farming skills for emerging farmers in the province.

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“The Department has set aside a total of R8 million to supply improved livestock to farmers,” said departmental spokesperson Thozi Manyisana. “The skills development programme has a budget of R7 million and will include training on livestock management.” Manyisana was speaking about a recent two day tour, undertaken by MEC Zoleka Capa and senior departmental officials, to establish the needs of emerging farmers in the Cacadu district of the Eastern Cape.

The tour started on 2 May in Somerset East, where farmers asked for help to improve the quality of their livestock and ended in Kirkwood the following day with the MEC encouraging farmers to obtain formal and accredited training in their fields. The department committed itself to ensuring that emerging citrus fruit farmers in the Sundays River municipal area, which contributed close to 25% of the province’s citrus fruit production, received training that would enable them to participate in the area’s mainstream economy.