Ngwenya exposes the state of agriculture

A retired farmer, Nomsa Ngwenya, completed her research that has been looking at the ongoing problems in agriculture regarding government assistance.

Ngwenya has a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Science. She decided to undertake research on government subsidies to smallholder farmers in Gauteng, Limpopo and the North West.

The main objective of her research was to find out the circumstances of the farmers who have been assisted by the government in the last ten years.

She said she was surprised to find out that farmers, especially the Black farmers, were involved in fraud cases that is delaying their growth in agriculture.

This research by Ngwenya discovered that many farmers who have received financial assistance from the government are on the verge of starvation.

“Although this country has a lot of fertile isolated land, agriculture contributes an estimated 2,5% of income,” explained Ngwenya.

She said that the farmers of this country can feed millions of South Africans with land and other crop and livestock farming resources, education and other tools that the farmers are equipped with.

“Many farms are sitting idle, or those that are working are working with the help of the government,” said Ngwenya.

75% of the people interviewed complain that their farms do not make much money, while some of them complain that their farms bring in an estimated income of R50 000 a year.

This research strongly exposes administrative incompetence, theft, fraud, lack of knowledge and other problems as the cause of underdevelopment of Black farmers.

“More than 75% of the people we spoke to said that they are not successful because of a lack of tools, while some of them admit that the cause of not growing is caused by the incompetence of the administration,” said Ngwenya.

Ngwenya said in her view, there is a need for people in this country who want to do business in agriculture to change their mindset and the way they see things.

“Black farmers need to be empowered with knowledge, when they have knowledge, they will not be afraid to attempt anything they put their minds to. This will ensure that they will succeed,” says Ngwenya.

“Most of the people who participated in this research agreed that they need knowledge of financial and business management as well. Lack of education is one of the problems that was detected during this research, because it hinders the growth of farmers especially people in the villages,” said Ngwenya.

This research showed that educated people with the necessary knowledge do not want to join agriculture because they are running away from the problems they see caused by a lack of education.

“One thing we have found is that theft, fraud and inability to manage money are causing internal problems in agricultural cooperatives established by the government,” explained Ngwenya.

In an effort to tackle this problem, Ngwenya offered free workshops to emerging farmers, the aim is to empower them to be successful.

“Black farmers feeling intimidated is one of the problems that cause them to fail in their daily efforts,” concluded Ngwenya.