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Farming under the spotlight at Mangaung

Dec 19 2012 16:51 Sapa
Wheat farm

(File, Orlin Wagner, AP)

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Bloemfontein - Commercial farming body Agri SA's stall drew much attention at the ANC's 53rd national elective conference in Mangaung, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The farmer union's two top officials, president Johannes Möller and deputy president Theo de Jager, were manning the exhibit at the conference, at the University of the Free State.

"Many who visited the stall have land, either through government programmes or had bought farms privately," said De Jager.

Most visitors were looking for help on how to start their farming enterprises.

"It's the type of information and service agricultural extension services would or should be giving."

Möller said a lack of support to farmers featured strongly in discussions. The presence of Agri SA at the conference was necessary for the sector to try and influence policy issues, he said.

It also offered an opportunity for informal discussions with organisations such as the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce on aspects of black economic empowerment.

The two farmers had a brief chat with President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday when he toured the exhibition. Zuma stopped at the Agri SA stall with a huge smile and shook hands with the two.

"Wonderful," said Zuma after a short discussion with Möller on rural development. Zuma took an information package from the farmers after several more minutes of discussion.

"Wonderful and thank you," Zuma greeted the men and moved on.

Shortly before Zuma's stop, African Union commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma strolled by for a short talk with the two Agri SA officials. They discussed the development of and help for young farmers before she indicated that a follow-up discussion should be held.

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agri sa  |  farming  |  mangaung 2012
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