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Opportunities for farmers

Written by Sphelele Ngubane

Previously disadvantaged  farmers can apply for assistance from the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform. 

The Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform is calling on emerging livestock farmers and those interested in crop production to apply for inclusion in its programmes to help the previously disadvantaged.

According to the province’s MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Nonkqubela Pieters, the Livestock Production Improvement Scheme aims to improve the genetic makeup of herds and flocks to help subsistence and small holder farmers.

Emerging livestock farmers are invited to apply to receive livestock as part of the scheme, which is one of the department’s agricultural programmes that have been put in place to promote, support and facilitate farming development.

The beneficiaries will be provided with pure bred bulls and rams.

The heifers and ewes are earmarked for youth, women and people with disabilities, who have farms that are not stocked below 30% of their capacity.

Applicants need to meet various criteria, including being registered on the producer/farmer database; already involved in the livestock farming sector and owning the type of livestock they apply for; and having a medium- to long-term legitimate right to use the land in their application.

“Applicants must demonstrate the capacity to be able to look after the number of animals they are applying for.

“In rural communities, we encourage farmers to apply as associations or commodity groups,” says MEC Pieters.

Each bull that will be given to the beneficiaries is valued at R3 000; while ram and buck are valued at R800 each.

Crop farming opportunities

Indigent individuals and families interested in crop farming can apply for inclusion in the department’s food production programme.

The department developed the Vulnerable Household Food Production Programme to enable people who are dependent on the state to grow their own nutritious food.

Applications will be accepted from people who are registered on their municipality’s indigent household register or those of the Department of Social Development or Department of Health.

Successful beneficiaries will be supplied with food production input and gardening equipment.

Applications close on 31 August 2021. All application forms and detailed information about these opportunities are available at www.drdar.gov.za