Fourteen cooperatives from Matatiele, in the Eastern Cape, have made history by exporting 8 000 tonnes of yellow maize to Vietnam.
The 14 farming cooperatives are now commercial farmers. In partnership with the Grain Farmer Development Association and the provincial government, they plough 3 350 hectares of land.
The Eastern Cape’s Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform representative, Hamilton Nsapho is happy that they have managed to successfully implement their Agriculture Economic Transformation Strategy to benefit local farmers.
The exports have generated more than R18.6 million to date.
“It is one of the exciting moments that we are realising. The initiative that we took as the province of developing the economic strategy in which, we are saying we need the commodity partners and partner with those people with the intention of trying to assist each sector. And now this is great. We provide support that is integrated, that gives assistance to the farmers – from input service providers.”
Grain Farmers Association Chairperson, Neo Masithela says it has given them great pleasure to help uplift local farmers.
“All what we are doing now is to facilitate public and private sector to work together and ensure that the funds are available for transformation and make sure that they are channelled through farmers association to enable black farmers to be commercial farmers. Our responsibility now with the EC’s dept is to enable them plant quality value of grain and that is why we are sending to another countries.”
Matatiele farmers were using 2 416 hectares for their first crop. One of the farmers, Tebogo Mongoato says they are setting the trend for other local farmers.
“Today we can see positive results. All partners that are involved, we can be able to share in the market export of 2018. There are black farmers who have exported maize to Vietnam that is produced by any commercial farmer in this country and it shows us that perseverance, results are being shown.”