Mpumalanga will help farmers in need

The Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture plans to reverse the declining fortunes of farms now owned by beneficiaries of the land restitution process.

The Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture plans to reverse the declining fortunes of farms now owned by beneficiaries of the land restitution process.

MEC Diana Pule said yesterday her department had noted the decline in business of many farms affected by land restitution.

"We are going to help all those new land owners who have not made improvements since their land was returned," Pule said.

The declining business of most restituted farms was attributed to a lack of farming skills, inadequate funds for new owners and situations where there were too many owners of a farm.

Pule said: "Most beneficiaries of land restitution are poor people who do not have a single cent to start a business."

Premier Thabang Makwetla has announced an R84million budget for a comprehensive agricultural support programme to help struggling new farmers.

Makwetla also said several other projects would be rolled out in the next financial year.

"These are high-impact projects that will contribute towards job creation and poverty alleviation," the premier said.

The projects relate to the production of nuts, sugar cane and soya beans. - Sakhile Mokoena

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