The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Libuseng Nyaka

QWAQWA – Free State MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Kwekwe William Bulwane disclosed the  R783,067,000, as the budget allocated for his department for 2021/22 financial year.

Unpacking how the budget is planned to be utilised Bulwane said for  the conditional grants the department is allocated R185,646,000 for Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP), R71,601,000 for Ilima/Letsema programme, R8,366,000 for LandCare programme and R2,088,000 for Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

“ As MEC Brown for Treasury indicated in her Budget Vote, we are also delighted by the fact that the baselines for this grants (CASP and Ilima/Letsema) have been restored and both have increased by 5% when compared to 2020/21 financial year.”

He said as the department will implement  services in line with the District Development Model, in the financial year 2021/2022 .

“We are  planning to implement the following projects and programmes: For 2021/22 we implement 25 projects: Xhariep: six red meat projects and one aquaculture project; Mangaung Metro: one vegetable project and two pasture projects; Lejweleputswa: three maize production projects, one  sunflower production project, four  red meat projects, one poultry project and one piggery project; Thabo Mofutsanyana: one poultry project, four meat projects, two  sunflower production projects and one maize production project and Fezile Dabi: six  maize production projects, all to the tune of R95,692,000 from CASP and Ilima/Letsema.

Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Kwekwe William Bulwane.

According to Bulwane commonage development programme of the department remains key and fundamental for aspiring farmers to graduate from commonages to Land Reforms farms and for the financial year 2021/22 identified nine  commonages  will  be supported at tune of  R16,400,000.

Mechanization is challenging in many ways, although it is ideal for each farmer to have his/her own equipment, this is not possible as it is not cost effective, and as the department we have developed a Free State Provincial Mechanization Business Plan over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework MTEF. He further disclosed a business plan to purchase 185 tractors.

“We  have set aside a total budget of R307, 431, 800 to enable farmers to plough and plant about 22 500 hectares during the production season. For the financial year 2021/22 we set aside R22,852,000 to support our farmers with mechanization.”

In terms of challenges Bulwane highlighted the natural disaster outbreak as the main ??? for the province and how the government has assisted the  farmers in the form of relief, mitigation; and post-disaster support and awareness campaigns are critical and remains important.

“The Department will continue to support farmers to mitigate disaster and as a result we set aside R6 million for Disasters in the 2021/22 financial year.”