The Free State Department of Agriculture says it is concerned that the agricultural sector is not growing to its full potential.

The department has gathered stakeholders together at the summit in Bloemfontein, aiming to draft strategies to develop agriculture to contribute to the economic growth.

Free State Agriculture MEC, Benny Malakoane, has emphasised that people who enter into the industry should be willing to go the extra mile and not only depend on government.

“The capacities of emerging farmers, the emerging farmers are challenged because many of them required to have the financial muscle either to buy their own inputs or to get loans from banks and even to go on and get insurance whether it is for their crops or for their animals.”

“The challenge is with the capacity of emerging farmers for us to develop them. Number one it has to start with you as the person and the character and the resilience to withstand rigours of agriculture,” adds Malakoane.

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