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Extension Opinion No.19: Many smallholder farmers excluded from farmer support and development programmes

Ivan Cloete, Provincial President of the African Farmers Association of South Africa in the Western Cape highlights how many smallholder farmers  on State land are currently excluded from farmer support and development services.

What are the key issue that the new policy must change?

Allow me to quote from the Summary and Options Discussion Document. pg 16:

Renewed focus on smallholder agriculture
“Following the 52nd National Conference of the ANC in Polokwane Government agreed on 12 outcomes to focus its work . Outcome 7 focuses on “vibrant , equitable and sustainable rural communities and food security for all'. This stimulated a renewed emphasis on developing smallholder agriculture. The New Growth Path targets 300 000 households in smallholder schemes by 2020' (Government of South Africa, n.d). 

Currently 95% of smallholder farmers in the Western Cape and elsewhere in the country are not recognised by the current policy. These black farmers are completely excluded from all Farmer Support and Development Programmes from the Department of Agriculture , Forestry and Fisheries. These black farmers are farming for many, many years on land that belongs to, in most cases, National or Provincial Government, without any ownership or any form of land tenure. They have all the skills and knowledge in terms of their farming activities. The fact that they don’t fit the criteria in terms of land ownership or leasehold doesn’t make them less capabale and competent farmers. The recognition of these black smallholder farmers in the new policy will contribute to job creation, poverty alleviation and food security. 

Each Province must be mandated by the new policy to include these farmers in all of their FSD Programmes. Funds must also be allocated to all Provinces to assist these dedicated black smallholder farmers in terms of extension services, seeds, seedlings, JoJo tanks, good genetic breeding stock, animal feed, fencing,removable camps, etc. 

Ivan R.Cloete
Provincial President 
AFASA Western Cape 

( On behalf of the PEC )

Click the image for a view of: African Farmers Association of South Africa
African Farmers Association of South Africa
Posted: 10/8/2012 (1:47:21 AM)


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