Agricultural sector to launch development agency

SABC News Farming R - Agricultural sector to launch development agency

The country will soon have its first Agricultural Agency to expedite land reform and to empower farmers.

Various industry leaders say they are making great progress to finalise the South African Agricultural Development Agency (SAADA).

They met with former President Kgalema Motlanthe in Pretoria to reflect on the importance of the Agency.

South Africa has been battling to successfully address land reform since democracy. The leaders hope that Development Agency can help expedite land reform and solve problems in the sector.

Former Director General: Land Reform and Rural Development, Leona Archary, says the agency will take pressure off the state.

“The agency will take off pressure from the state. It will present specialised skills. Government can’t do this alone.”

The entity will also help to root out corruption in the sector. Skills transfer and economic growth is another aim.

Director in Transformation Initiative, Roelf Meyer, says the mandate of the agency is land reform and economic growth.

“The agency has two mandates; land reform and economic growth. It will help to empower small scale farmers.”

Farmers welcomed the initiative, but say it can only work if there’s unity and proper redress.

“If we want to take this forward as a development agency, we need to be one. Otherwise there’s no future.”

A funding model for the agency is almost finalised.

Addressing the farming community, Motlanthe reiterated the urgency for land reform to revive the economy and for political stability.

SAADA’s official launch date is yet to be announced.

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