Zokwana urges smallholder farmers to register on new database

With data on agricultural production being both dated and skewed towards higher-end commercial agriculture, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and Statistics South Africa have launched a campaign to gather more information about smallholder farmers in the country.

Zokwana urges smallholder farmers to register on new database

During a media conference at Elsenburg in the Western Cape, the Minister of DAFF, Senzeni Zokwana, urged all smallholder farmers to participate in a “farmer producer/register campaign”.

Zokwana said that regularly updating baseline statistics would help government to better measure the progress of land reform, plan new intervention strategies, and address weaknesses while preventing interventions being duplicated.

“Farmers who have received land need to be accounted for. Records should be kept of who they are, where they are located, the size of their land and what they are doing there, as well as their market activities,” Zokwana said.

He urged all small-scale farmers to participate in the programme and added that recording this information would become a prerequisite to qualify for benefits in the future, but that farmers’ identities would be kept confidential.

The census would be conducted in two phases, with the first, targeting commercial farmers, commencing in 2019, and the second, targeting smallholder farmers, starting in 2020.

A total of R10 million had been allocated for the development of the database, he said.