Emerging farmers in Chris Hani Municipality excited for business efforts by government

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Emerging farmers in the Chris Hani District Municipality have expressed excitement at the government’s endeavours to develop them in sustaining their businesses.

The district municipality in partnership with its Development Agency, the Co-operative Development Centre and a private company, RAFI Beef, have handed over 1 000 cattle to an emerging farmer at Gubenxa in Khowa, formerly known as Elliot. This as part of the RAFI Beef program, which seeks to give local farmers an opportunity to commercialise their product for better economic spin-offs.

The RAFI Beef programme was established last year.  A number of emerging farmers from four districts of the province are benefiting through this programme.

One of the emerging farmers, Lundi Kama, has partnered with RAFI Beef and his farm, the Mqwathi-Tolo Farm will be used to graze more than 1 000 cattle. His role in the partnership includes raising, feeding and increasing the cattle’s weight on his farm.

Purpose of the initiative

This move will see him making an estimated revenue of close to R1.5 million in three months. Kama says this is a great initiative.

“The reason why I’m excited is because I have experience in backgrounding. The conditions now are so favorable. Even the account the farm has, we will be able to meet our monthly financial obligations,” says Kama.

Operations Manager at RAFI Beef, Chris Liechtenburg says more emerging farmers from Chris Hani, OR Tambo, Joe Gqabi and Alfred Nzo districts are benefiting from the programme.

“The whole programme is about uplifting farmers. We assess the farms and send specialists including our vets that monitor the grass and tell us which cattle will best suit that farm,” says Liechtenburg.

The Chris Hani Co-operative Development Centre is also playing a huge role in ensuring that all emerging farmers get a chance. The CEO of the agency, Abongile Hala, says they also aim to improve the quality of the animal produce, whether it’s beef or milk.

“We are busy assisting numerous farmers in this district. While we are backgrounding here, we chose other farms for crossbreeding hoping that no farms are unused and we improve the quality of beef,” says Hala.

Chris Hani District Mayor, Wongama Gela, says they want this programme to extend to other districts as well.

“We do have a technical team that extends the management skills and this is not the first farm and we want the partnership to continue as you know we have many farms in our district,” says Gela.

So far, about 29 commercial agreements have been signed with the purpose of improving the quality of livestock produced in the four district municipalities.