'This government wants to take our farms'

OFFENSIVE INVESTMENT: The irrigation scheme that farmers claim the government has used to exploit Tshiombo farmers Pic. CHESTER MAKANA. 13/10/2009. © Sowetan.
OFFENSIVE INVESTMENT:This is the irrigation scheme that government funds to expolit local farmers at Tshiombo 
PHOTO:CHESTER MAKANA
OFFENSIVE INVESTMENT: The irrigation scheme that farmers claim the government has used to exploit Tshiombo farmers Pic. CHESTER MAKANA. 13/10/2009. © Sowetan. OFFENSIVE INVESTMENT:This is the irrigation scheme that government funds to expolit local farmers at Tshiombo PHOTO:CHESTER MAKANA

FARMERS in Mbahela have accused the Limpopo department of agriculture of using apartheid-era tactics to take their farms to give to " close friends".

This after the department "imposed" a strategic partner, supposedly to impart skills but who allegedly ended up taking the farms.

Farmers' chairperson Dakalo Tshililo said the department promised them that they were going to improve farming skills for 86 farmers in the area.

But Tshililo said they were short-changed as they were left without farms.

"This government doesn't care; we were farming without any problems," Tshililo said.

"But they pretended that we are faced with a problem of irrigation, now we have lost our farms, that is how they help us."

However, the department claims that the farmers were aware that they were going to lose their farms.

Spokesperson Thembi Makhuvele said it was a strategy the department used to turn agriculture production around.

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