Through Masibuyele Emasimini tractor mechanization program, which is a four-year initiative, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries aims to encourage black citizens back into the agricultural sector.
The department has decided to make an initial allotment of R100 million, to be followed by R50 million to each of the South Africa’s nine provinces.
At least 10,500 farmers are expected to benefit.
The first handover from the scheme took place in mid-June and involved the allocation of hi-tech equipment to black farmers in Mpumalanga.
Mpumalanga MEC for Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration, Meshack Malinga, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, and President Jacob Zuma witnessed numerous small-scale farmers of Marapyane village accepting 85 new tractors.
The vehicles were distributed to all three districts of the province - Ehlanzeni, Gert Sibande and Nkangala.
IMPROVING FOOD SECURITY
The new equipment will increase small-scale and subsistence farmers’ output and avoid uncertain futures caused by food insecurity.
They will also become more competitive in the domestic and possibly international market.
“The issue of rural development and land reform is very high up on government’s agenda, as there are some real opportunities in the way of decent jobs and entrepreneurship,” said Joemat-Pettersen.
“The state is committed to affording all players in this sector sufficient support and infrastructure,” she added, pointing out that importance of white farmers, who have traditionally been the county’s agricultural mainstay, will not be overlooked.
Edited by Chris Farnell