Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture

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Address
Private Bag X0040
Bhisho
Eastern Cape  5605
South Africa
Ads
Phone
+27 40 639 1180
Fax
+27 40 636 3462
E-Mail
Email contact form
Website
http://www.ecprov.gov.za


Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture

Sustainable agricultural growth for food, security and socio-economic development. The department seeks to facilitate, support, promote and co-ordinate sustainable small scale food production and commercial agricultural development, through equitable access to and optimal use of resources with a meaningful participation by all stakeholders in an integrated manner, thus contributing to a better life for all in the Eastern Cape Province.

The Eastern Cape is a rural province. Agriculture must therefore be the backbone of broad economic development here. That is why we, as a department, need to develop a strategy of agrarian transformation that involves introducingcommercial ventures and enterprises to rural areas as a way to provide and improve social, economic and service infrastructure.

The ultimate goals of our development projects are to create opportunities to grow the economy, provide food in a sustainable way, and create informal work opportunities.

All our economic-development programmes, such as Siyazondla, also have an element of improved food security to them. In addition, we have set aside huge tracts of land specifically for food crops to meet the challenge of food supply. We are looking at planting crops like sorghum, wheat, soya and sunflower. We are not using maize because of government constraints. We would like to see wheat going more towards bread, because we are told that the price of bread is high because of a shortage of wheat.

Our major challenges are Skills and finance. We are trying to draw and retain more skilled people to the Eastern Cape, for example vets and agricultural engineers. Some of them leave us for greener pastures. We have agreed in principle with national government that we should standardise the remuneration and other conditions of work for these people so that nobody feels that they are paid less or work under less appealing conditions in the Eastern Cape. Finance is another one - we need the budget to buy tractors and fence off grazing land so that we don’t have the stray animals. In 2008, for example, we budgeted R45-million for fencing in the former Transkei region. What message can you give to businesses considering the Eastern Cape as a potential destination for investment into agriculture? That this is a wonderful province. We in agriculture have made the decision that 5km on either both sides of the N2 must contain grain, fruit and vegetable crops so that we can have South Africans and tourists visiting from anywhere else in the world driving world driving through our WIld Coast, meeting our friendly people.

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