Small-scale farmers need information, skills

Small-scale farmers must create platforms where they can inform government about their problems.

This according to Dr Brylyne Chitsunge, a successful small-scale farmer from Gauteng. At a dairy day Dr. Faffa Malan, manager at the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa, referred to her as a problem-solver.

During the annual Milk Producers’ Organisation’s Gauteng dairy day at the Belnori-boutique cheesery, Chitsunge said there should be hubs where small farmers can access information.

“We want to see the so-called extension officers – I am still unable to find one. If we can create hubs where we can get access to information, we can all be on the same page.”

Chitsunge sang the praises of Senzeni Zokwana, Minister van Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said he is “in favour of everything and everyone.”

Zokwana’s wife Siphokazi, who farms near Umtata in the Eastern Cape, accompanied Chitsunge.

Chitsunge said she owes her success as a farmer to the help she received from her “white brothers.”

“We need the transfer of skills. There is no use in giving me implements and land, please give me knowledge and skills.”

New farmers need assistance from experienced farmers.

“You (experienced farmers) need to hold my hand,” she said.

Chitsunge also asked white farmers to have their say.

“My white brothers and sisters: you have become so frightened that you remain quiet.”

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