Agriculture Minister happy with progress on farms acquired through Restitution of Land Rights Programme

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Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza has expressed satisfaction with the progress in farms acquired through the department’s Restitution of Land Rights Programme. One of those being the Threepance Farm based in Hankey in the Eastern Cape.

The citrus holding was transferred to the Katoo Family Trust in 2005.

Minister Didiza visited the farm on a harvest day. When the farm was doing well it exported an average of 60 000 cartons of citrus a year. Due to drought this dropped to 40 000 boxes last year.

Khanya Katoo, the owner of this farm, says despite the challenges of an ongoing drought, the farm is doing well.

“It has been such an honor to get this farm into our family trust because it means to carry the family legacy on. I won’t lie it has been very tough for us. I mean the tree you see there takes nine years to grow which means that you have to wait for some time before you get returns on them. The war in Russia has also made exports very tough but we are hopeful that things are soon going to go back to normal,” says Katoo.

Minister Didiza says the farm remains a success story.

“I am very happy about the development that I see here today because I can see that they have done a lot of work to develop the farm. What I’m also happy with now is that close to half of the Katoo family is employed which means that through our help many homes have got food on the table. I am also happy that the farm is producing citrus that is off international standard which means it will always be in demand for export,” says Didiza.

VIDEO: Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza attending celebration of land claim settlement in Flagstaff