28th August 2014.
The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal Legislature calls for
the empowerment of rural people through agricultural
initiatives, since agriculture and natural resource management
are crucial for pro-poor growth and empowerment.
"Agricultural cooperatives like in Makhabeleni
and Magobhe area in Kranskop under uMvoti Municipality are in
dire need of assistance but the department of Agriculture is not
helping them. There must be support in the form of empowerment
programmes in rural areas where poor people are facing pressing
challenges to their livelihoods. People need support in business
management and support to poor rural producers to access
markets," said IFP Spokesperson on Agriculture, Mr Nhlanhla
"By supporting rural poor people we are giving
farmers the scientific know-how to increase farm productivity,
boosting agribusinesses to reward farmers and generate rural
employment, and turning KwaZulu-Natal Province into a hub for
organic farming to service the global market for such produce.
We want to see more visibility also from the Premier and his
cabinet introducing Operation Phakisa Big Fast Results
Initiative in other areas as they have done it in Makhathini
Flats in uMkhanyakude recently," continued Msimango.
"We call for the MEC of Agriculture, Cyril
Xaba to conduct an audit on how many rural cooperatives
including those owned by young people are in dire need of
assistance and they must be provided with the necessary support.
Furthermore, the MEC must investigate whether
agricultural district offices are useful to local farmers or are
they dysfunctional as it is being alleged. Agriculture Extension
Officers have a vital role to play and they need to be more
hands-on in providing support to rural farmers," concluded
Mr Nhlanhla Msimango, MPL, IFP
Spokesperson on Agriculture, 074 259 0820
For Media Enquiries:
IFP KZN Provincial Legislature Media Liaison
Officer, Mr Phendulani Biyase, 073 024 5675