Mpumalanga Agriculture is calling on government to allow farmers to conduct crime watches on farms during the nationwide lockdown.

President of Mpumalanga Agriculture, Tommy Ferreira, says since the start of the lockdown, farmers have not been able to conduct a watch, leading to an increase in crimes such as maize and stock theft.

Ferreira says there is a need for farmers to find ways to work with the police to fight crime during the lockdown.

“Mpumalanga Agriculture requests our provincial MEC of Safety and Security to use government channels to convince the National Minister of Police of the indispensable role of crime watchers in the prevention of crime in rural areas.

“Mpumalanga Agriculture always encourages our members to operate within law and order. At this stage, we have prevention by the Minister of Police by prohibiting the normal functioning of farm watches in this lockdown. It would be good if we can open it up and work with SAPS to do the normal farm patrols.”

In the video below: Fiber-related farming practices for wool, mohair suspended due to lockdown:

Mpumalanga farmers to receive relief vouchers

Farmers in Mpumalanga with a turnover of between R20 000 and R1 million will receive vouchers not exceeding R50 000 to alleviate the impact of COVID-19.

MEC for Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs in Mpumalanga Vusi Shongwe announced the relief measures during a meeting with farmer’s associations in Ermelo.

The farmers raised concerns that include failure to pay labourers, transporting produce, not having permits, and accessing markets during the lockdown.