Saai welcomes suspension of subsistence farming vouchers

African marmalade

Saai welcomes the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Rural Development to suspend the presidential employment stimulus programs (PES) which were implemented in the form of vouchers.

Saai has continually warned based on complaints from subsistence farmers across the country that the system has been hijacked by politically connected executives, is riddled with corruption and lacks the results to make it an acceptable investment for the taxpayer.

The PSE was a program launched by the Department to enable smallholder farmers with vouchers for agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, agricultural chemicals and diesel to generate farm income and create a livelihood for their farmers. families.

Saai believes the reason the program has failed so miserably is because of the ANC’s distorted political principles.

Instead of redeeming the vouchers at reputable and established agricultural enterprises, race and party loyalty were used as criteria to create a class of middlemen who derived both profit and commission from the vouchers. The ministry has acknowledged that 5-37% of development aid ends up in the pockets of these intermediaries.

Some farmers never got started because the long-awaited coupons never reached them. Only about 55,000 of the two million subsistence farmers have benefited to some extent. With some intermediaries, the commission was so high that farmers could not buy enough inputs to complete their crops.

Saai aims to get more information from the courts and opposition parties in parliament on exactly how much money has been wasted through this program and how successful it can be demonstrated.

Fraud and state capture in agriculture are not only a serious threat to food security, but are keeping a whole generation of small family farmers poor, unprofitable and uncompetitive. Without a radical transformation of the department and the executive deployment policy, no solution is possible. The ANC has abandoned agriculture in South Africa, and no one is suffering more than small subsistence farmers.

Saai is intensely involved in agricultural training and agricultural development – ​​from communal farmers and suburban horticulture to land reform beneficiaries and commercial black family farmers. Private initiatives are the only alternative for a state that fails or fails to help its farmers, and in particular new entrants to the industry, to become competitive, sustainable and profitable. However, it is impossible to do the work of the state without the revenues of the state.

Given the extent of the irregularities, incapacity and coup in the department, a solution for the modernization and commercialization of subsistence farmers requires a profound restructuring of civil servants, a reversal of the effects of the deployment of executives and a reversal of their racial policies, not possible. Until then, each new program, regardless of the billions of rands spent, will only add to the list of failures in rural development and agriculture.

About Keneth T. Graves

Check Also

Your farming community needs you more than ever, so why not volunteer

Register to our daily newsletter Farming Life Today Volunteers are an essential part of the …