Poor Rural People Must Be Empowered
Through Agricultural Initiatives

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 Msimango, MPL.


"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 Msimango.



Issued by:

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