by ANNA NTABANE
MBOMBELA, (Mpumalanga Guardian) – THE Mpumalanga Provincial Government and smallholder farmers must maintain their cordial working relations in order to enhance food security for South Africa.
This is according to the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs, Vusi Shongwe, in a message to members of the Sterksdorp Small Holder Farmers Enterprise Programme (SHEP).
“I am very pleased to visit a project which was long established and the collaboration of farmers in one project with one vision that shared by the department to reduction of food parcels dependency,” Shongwe said.
Four community based associations, namely Ingogo, Juluka, Lusito Lwesive and Masikhulisane, operate SHEP.
It has resulted in 75 permanent and 189 temporary jobs.
Shongwe announced the department will be building a packhouse for the farmers to store their produce in the future.
Some harvest will be taken to the International Fresh Produce.
Farmers meanwhile appealed to government to assist them so they could brand and package their produce.