R100 million targeted for land reform rescues in KZN

The public has been assured that the R100 million the KZN government injected into rescuing scores of struggling land reform farms in the province won’t simply be used to bail out mismanaged enterprises.

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Instead, only land reform operations showing potential, but that were previously undercapitalised and lacked necessary skills due to failures within the province’s post-settlement support programme, will be targeted for this latest support measure. KZN Agricultural Union president Robin Barnsley, who’s also a board member of the Agribusiness Development Agency (ADA) that will facilitate this support, told Farmer’s Weekly the idea is to identify land reform farms that have the potential for success, and then for the agency to assist them to achieve this success.

“We should see genuinely successful farming businesses coming out of this initiative. The money is not aimed at being a general bail-out of all struggling, or failed, land reform farming operations in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said. Speaking at the recent launch of the ADA, KZN economic development MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu, pointed out that the agency was jointly funded by his department together with the KZN agriculture department.

He also said the ADA had already entered into agreements with a number of private agricultural institutions to assist the agency in achieving its goals.These institutions include the Sugar Cane Millers, the Citrus Growers Association of South Africa, Forestry South Africa and Ithala Bank, among others.According to the The Witness newspaper, the ADA has targeted 87 farms in KZN for support during the current financial year.  

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