The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned that the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development failed to meet its set target for the training of smallholder farmers in the province.
This was revealed in the department’s fourth quarter report for the 2019/2020 financial year.
According to the report the department was supposed to provide training to 580 smallholder farmers. However, the department only managed to train 188 smallholder farmers.
The reasons cited for department not meeting this target were the delays in procurement for the training that needed to take place for smallholder farmers.
In addition, the department also failed to meet its target of providing agricultural advice to 620 smallholder producers. The department only managed to provide support to 266 smallholder producers.
Providing training and agricultural advice to smallholder farmers and smallholder producers plays an important role in empowering them with knowledge and skills to ensure food security and job creation in the province.
This department is known for not providing adequate support to smallholder producers and smallholder farmers, even though there is a budget allocated for this.
I will be tabling further questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain exactly how the department intends ensuring that the targets set for this programme are met.