SONA 2023: Agriculture

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering the 2023 State of the Nation Address (SONA). PICTURE: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

President Cyril Ramaphosa applauded the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s proposal in his state of the nation address at the beginning of February.

“This plan is making a significant difference in the production of sugar and chicken meat in this country, and it is definitely contributing to South African trade,” Ramaphosa noted. The plan was put into action at the end of 2021, and it began to function in 2022. In addition to continuing to make the required adjustments in agriculture, Ramaphosa said that this plan has changed how chicken meat is produced.

“We, as South Africans, are in a region of the world that is severely affected by climate change, with droughts, floods, and other extraordinary weather conditions,” President Ramaphosa continued. He stated that the government’s efforts to combat extreme poverty depend heavily on the land redistribution process.

“The government is pushing forward with attempts to redistribute land in accordance with the South African constitution,” Ramaphosa stated.

He promised that the formal establishment of the agricultural agency and land redistribution would be completed by the end of the year. “There is a lot of vacant land in South Africa that can be used to support millions of small-scale farmers,” Ramaphosa declared.

According to Ramaphosa’s report, the grant to support farmers’ growth and development has benefited more than 100,000 young farmers. “This grant means a lot to young farmers who grow vegetables, poultry, animals, and fruits,” Ramaphosa said.

He said that small-scale farmers who produce sugar in this region have received financial support of R200 million, and there are 12 000 of these farmers. His state of the nation address was followed by Premiers, including that of Gauteng province, Panyaza Lesufi, who promised to increase agriculture in that province.

According to the agricultural crime report, South African farmers lose an estimated one million livestock each year. “This fiscal year, the government plans to assist 250 000 farmers in various agricultural fields,” Ramaphosa said.