Stellenbosch empowers more emerging farmers

Four emerging farmers sign contracts

Four emerging farmers this week became the second group of recievers of agricultural contracts from the Stellenbosch municipality.

The initial success unfolded in 2019 when the municipality entered into agreements with the first batch of five farmers. Building on this foundation, Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer, joined by Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Ivan Meyer, handed over contracts to four additional emerging farmers, signalling the municipality’s continued commitment to sustainable agricultural practices, economic growth, and job creation in our region.

“The ongoing effort to lease municipal agricultural land to local farmers underscores the municipality’s dedication to creating lasting opportunities and fostering inclusivity within the community. This multi-round approach demonstrates a forward-looking strategy, ensuring the ongoing empowerment of emerging farmers and the fruitful utilization of previously underutilised land,” Van Deventer said.

The contracts, ranging between 9 to 11-year leases with the option of renewal based on productive land use, were handed over with a commitment to optimise every available patch of agricultural land in the Stellenbosch municipal area.

Van Deventer emphasized the municipality’s strategic objective to create a business-friendly environment and promote job creation.

“The administration’s dedication to providing opportunities for emerging farmers is evident in the selection process, considering farming experience, business plans, and financial readiness. The municipality will also ensure essential infrastructure like electricity and water supply, facilitating connections with agricultural groups and government departments.

“Today’s signing ceremony reaffirms our commitment to sustainable development and inclusive growth. The municipality must create an environment that enables business development and job creation. We are committed to boosting our economy and jobs. Giving emerging farmers with farming experience access to land does so in a sustainable and responsible manner. I wish them well and can’t wait to visit these farms in the coming months!”

Meyer said: “Stellenbosch Municipality is a sterling example of how small-scale farmers can be given access to municipal agricultural land in a responsible, ordered, administratively sound manner. Its Municipal Policy for the Management of Agricultural Land creates the framework for openness, transparency, accountability, and predictability. More importantly it provides the basis for small-scale farmers who possess the required knowledge, expertise, passion, and commitment to apply to lease parcels of municipal agricultural land and develop their farming businesses into sound commercial enterprises. Doing so brings hope to these farmers and the role they play in securing food security and jobs in the sector.”

This initiative aligns with the Stellenbosch municipal council’s 2016 policy on the management of municipal agricultural land, allowing effective utilisation of previously unused land to empower emerging and historically disadvantaged farmers. As a caring and responsible government, Stellenbosch Municipality continues to pioneer practices that boost the local agricultural sector, demonstrating the crucial role local governments play in creating opportunities and supporting residents’ economic empowerment.

 

Van links na regs: Bradley Cortereal, Ivan Meyer, Geraldine Mettler, Naomi Linders, Gesie van Deventer, Ansel Langeveldt and Basil Williams.

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