North West food producers lament terrible road infrastructure

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Food producers in the North West have raised concerns about the bad state of the roads infrastructure and its impact on the agricultural economy. With just days to go before Minister for Finance Tito Mboweni’s budget speech, farmers in the province hope some relief will be directed to the agricultural sector.

Potato farmer Frans Engelbrecht says in the past two years, he has had to spend R500 000 from his own pocket on road maintenance.

“Now, it’s got a big impact on the economy. If there are no vehicles that can come and fetch your product then you can’t produce anything and what it cost the transport people as well,” says Engelbrecht.

Stakeholders in the agricultural sector say more needs to be done to safeguard critical resources including electricity, water and roads.

Agricultural Economist, Bernedict Modise says bad road infrastructure compromises farmers.

“Poor infrastructure is very critical within the industry because without infrastructure such as roads in good conditions, we cannot have our farmers transporting their grains from their farms to Cielos. We cannot have farmers taking their livestock to the nearest market,” says Modise.