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Operation Vula launched to assist emerging farmers

ZULULAND OBSERVER / 03 NOVEMBER - 05.50 / STAFF REPORTER

This was revealed by MEC for Economic Development,Tourism and Environment Affairs, Sihle Zikalala at Ngwelezane Community Hall

THE KZN government has announced the creation of permanent markets for struggling local farmers.

MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environment Affairs, Sihle Zikalala speaking during the launch of Operation Vula at Ngwelezana Community Hall - Photo by Muzi Zincume

This was revealed by MEC for Economic Development,Tourism and Environment Affairs, Sihle Zikalala at Ngwelezane Community Hall on Tuesday.

Zikalala told hundreds of community members and potential farmers from three local municipalities under King Cetshwayo District that the government have realised that most black and emerging farmers are struggling to get a market to sell their product.

For that reason, they have instituted Operation Vula, a Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation (RASET) program to unlock the economy to all.

‘We have realised that since 1994 the majority of this country are still living in poverty and this program will assist black farmers and businesses owners.

‘Each and every district in the province will have a District Development Agency which will be responsible for collecting and storing all products from farmersities before distributing them to various departments.

‘Farmers will be paid at least five days before the collection of goods.

‘We are in the negotiations with Ithala Bank to have an agreement to ensure that all farmers are paid on time,’ he said

Zikalala stated that the departments of Education, Health ,Social Development and Correctional Services have agreed to be permanent markets for the emerging black farmers.

‘The department of Health, Education and Social Development spent about R2.2- billion per year just in buying food and I would like to see at least half of that budget going straight to black farmers.

‘We have taken a decision that all government department will buy furniture from black-owned businesses or co-operatives to ensure that they also benefit,.

‘We have realised that the majority of people did not benefit from the black industrialisation and BEE programs,’ he said.

He explained that the Department of Agriculture will help the emerging farmers by providing them with necessary equipment and seeds.

‘We will give them training and ensure they know what there are doing. Those in furniture manufacturing must produce strong and beautiful furniture, and they can even produce desks for schools.’

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LINK - https://zululandobserver.co.za/156737/operation-vula-launched-assist-emerging-farmers/

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