The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Libuseng Nyaka

QWAQWA- Free State Premier Sefora Ntombela  says under  the Disaster Relief Fund, three hundred and eighty-nine farmers  were assisted to the tune of seventeen million, two hundred fifty thousand Rand.

Ntombela disclosed this during the state of the province address on Tuesday .

She said  this was done to assist farmers whose farms were seriously destroyed by the  intense veldfires in 2020.

“Over one hundred farms covering one hundred thousand hectares of land mass and affecting fifty-three farmers were burnt down.

As if this was not enough, farms were flooded causing another massive damage on farm infrastructure such as silos, houses, workshops, crops and vehicles. Besides causing harm to agricultural production, these disasters affected livelihoods of farmers, farm workers and farm dwellers alike.

Thabo Mofutsanyana farming area.

In response to this Ntombela said the areas were declared both disasters in terms of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2000.

“As I previously pledged that we will use agriculture as a lever for youth employment and creation of economic opportunities, seven youth entrepreneurs are benefiting from the Goats Farming Project in Tweeling. A goat house has been constructed and training offered, and beneficiaries have been supported with two hundred and sixty-one goats,” explained Ntombela.

She further highlighted another  development as  the Chicky Piggy, which has been constructed and is operational in Xhariep.

“This piggery has a bio-security facility, office block, laundry, water establishment and reservoir, a tractor and splitter tanker. “

Also, Agri-hubs that were established in Thaba Nchu, Springfontein, Wesselsbron

and Parys are now implementing the Grain Value Chain Programme.

Aspects of this Programme include provision of storage and milling facilities to

support Agri-parks through the Farmer Support Production Units in Makholokoeng, Thaba Nchu, Odendaalsrus, Kroonstad and Zastron.”

The Premier also revealed  that the Free State Poultry Hub Investment Plan has been developed.

“Poultry initiatives are being implemented around Virginia, Parys, Frankfort and Reitz. We continue to support our subsistence farmers with production inputs such as vegetable seeds, fertilizers and garden tools. Our smallholder farmers must graduate to the commercial level and will be supported with production inputs.”