Help for farmers in overgrazed areas

16 September 2013

The government has unveiled an Animal and Veld Management Programme to provide support for farmers working in parts of South Africa that have historically suffered from overgrazing.

The programme, launched by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti in Msinga village in KwaZulu-Natal last week, will also help with soil rehabilitation, spatial decongestion and re-greening of the environment.

It is one of a number of initiatives aimed at reversing the legacy of the 1913 Natives’ Land Act, which led to the congestion of the majority of black people into 13% of the land, resulting in overcrowding and overgrazing in communal areas.

Farmers in communal areas who have shown potential will be given the opportunity of moving into state-owned farms to grow their skills and expand their operations.

Speaking on behalf of the Gunjana livestock farmers during the launch, Mkakeni Mchunu from Msinga village welcomed the introduction of the programme in their village.

“We have livestock but not enough grazing land,” Mchunu said. “We appreciate not only the opportunity to access more land, but also the training and skills development in order to enhance our farming operations.”

The Animal and Veld Management Programme will reach the country’s 24 poorest district municipality areas. Msinga has been identified as one of the areas that has been most affected by soil erosion.

Twenty-seven young people from Msinga have received training in disaster management and have been deployed to help rehabilitate the 42.5 hectares of land where community members keep their livestock.

Source: SAnews.gov.za