Pretoria – The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries aims to establish 50 000 commercially-orientated smallholder farmers focusing on homelands.
Agriculture and Forestry Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, made the announcement during her Budget Vote Speech in Parliament on Wednesday.
The department will establish these farmers where there is a large concentration of subsistence producers, including supporting smallholders on land acquired through land reform in partnership with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, she said.
Joemat-Pettersson said over 5 000 jobs were created in the 2010/11 financial year as a result of the support interventions of Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP), including programmes on state land managed by the department.
She said they will increase their support to new and existing smallholder farmers, working in close collaboration with the provinces to achieve their targets.
A total of 15 000 smallholder farmers have been targeted for the 2011/12 financial year. In addition, a Smallholder Development Plan will be developed this year to strengthen coordination with provinces in regard to the support of 15 000 smallholder farmers.
“For this CASP programme, a grant of over R1 billion has been allocated to the nine provinces, which will be paid out in tranches, depending on progress. By now the provinces will have received the initial 10 percent of their allocation, which will be followed by a further 20 percent next month, and the remaining allocations in October and January next year,” she said.
The Eastern Cape is to receive R174.9 million; Free State R102.9 million, Gauteng R41.1 million and KwaZulu-Natal R164.6 million.
Limpopo will receive R154.3 million, Mpumalanga R102.9 million, Northern Cape R72.05 million, North West R133.8 million and the Western Cape will get R82.3 million.
With regard to the Illima/Letsema, which is aimed at encouraging self-sufficiency and the eradication of hunger, the minister said a budget of R400 million has been earmarked for this and each province will receive a share.
KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Cape get R60 million each; Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo R40 million each, Free State R52 million Gauteng R20 million, and the Western Cape R48 million.
The LandCare Programme, during the 2010/11 financial year, directly and indirectly benefited 28 161 land users.
The Junior LandCare Initiative, focusing on enhancing an ethic of natural resources stewardship, reached 22 166 young people; and in total 14 815 green jobs were created through rehabilitation works related to soil, water and veld management.
“As part of the LandCare programme for 2011/12, an estimated 15 000 job opportunities will be created through the rehabilitation and land utilisation activities under the LandCare programme.
“An amount of R57.7 million has been earmarked for the LandCare programme in this financial year, and all provinces will receive a share of this,” she said. – BuaNews