Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister condemns farm attacks

OCTOBER 17, 2014

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, has strongly condemned farm attacks which have affected farmers across the country.

“Violence against farmers is violence against the entire agriculture sector. I am against violence,” Minister Zokwana said at the Agri SA Annual Congress in Pretoria on Friday.

He said violence related to stock theft, was harming animals and making the lives of those who live in farming communities unbearable.

Minister Zokwana said the issues of farmworkers were important to government.

“… We are behind the agriculture sector. We are all in this together and my door is always open for any issues in relation to our sector,” he said.

Minister Zokwana said government’s vision was to grow the contribution of agriculture to the South African economy.

“Currently, we only contribute 2.7 percent to our economy. To increase this, we have to increase investment in the sector.

“We have to find more markets for our producers. We need to support them and to ensure that the environment is conducive for farmers to thrive if we are looking at them to provide assistance to our country,” he said.

Minister Zokwana called on farmers to guard against anything that would hinder growth in the sector such as electricity costs, rising labour costs and the cost of energy. 

He encouraged farmers to invest in their employees.

“No organisation can thrive without a healthy, happy workforce. Our vision is to have a sector that is free of any kind of injustice against the vulnerable,” Minister Zokwana said. – SAnews.gov.za