FARMER UNIONS GIVE MASIBAMBISANE THE NOD
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, led by Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson held a successful meeting with farmers unions and stakeholders yesterday during which they expressed their unanimous support for the Masibambisane Rural Development Initiative (MRDI).
Farmer unions including Agri SA, United South African Agriculture Association (USAAA), African Farmers' Association of South Africa (AFASA), SA Agri Academy and the National African FarmerÂ’s Union of South Africa (NAFU-SA) were joined by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Independent Development Trust (IDT), and the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA). All parties pledged their unreserved and unwavering support to this initiative. Masibambisane aims to develop rural communities through infrastructure development,skills development and transfer,as well as access to markets for small scale farmers.
The Transvaal Agricultural Union sent its apologies.
The parties agreed that Masibambisane offers enormous opportunities to those involved in agriculture.
Â“Agri SA views Masibambisane as a great initiative to link small-holder and commercial farmers. The partnership will increase market access to small-holder producers, but also assists with mentoring and skills transfer from commercial to smallholder producers.
Together with our affiliates, we can contribute to the project especially on farmer development and skills transfer and look forward to the implementation of Masibambisane in all the districts, said Agri SA senior Economist, Dawie Maree.
AFASA also expressed support for the over-arching programme and noted that it is aimed at benefitting the small-holder farmers of South Africa.
"We will be fully involved in ensuring that Masibambisane succeeds and will further support the inclusivity and consistency in the implementation of Masibambisane in all provincesÂ”, said AFASA President, Mike Mlengana.
Kobus Dowry, Chairperson of the USAAA said: "We are extremely excited and motivated by this inspirational initiative to develop rural areas and ensure food security through agriculture. The role of small and upcoming agriculture has been ignored and under-estimated for too long and Masibambisane pushes that sector to the frontÂ”."
The President of NAFU-SA, Joe Gondo, re-emphasised the need for strong partnerships between communities, government and organised agriculture.
Â“Masibambisane offers an opportunity to do just that as government has this time put its money where its mouth is,
Minister Joemat-Pettersson agreed that there is a need for further consultation and that she will invite MECs to the next meeting.
For more information please contact Palesa Mokomele, Spokesperson, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries or Mr Mike Mlengana, President of AFASA, on 082 556 78 12.
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