MAYORS deployed by the ANC should not be afraid to make use of unused land for the development of the people they lead, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said at the launch of an agri-hub site in Ncora on Tuesday.
The Agri-Parks Programme is an initiative that seeks to achieve a “rural economic transformation” aimed at poverty alleviation, job creation and the creation of sustainable community-owned enterprises.
The programme combines agro-production, processing, logistics, marketing and training and extension services located in different district municipalities.
As a network it enables a market-driven integration of various agricultural activities and rural transformation services.
The programme is proclaimed in the National Development Plan as an initiative to revitalise agriculture and expand the agro-processing value chain.
In the country, at least 44 districts have been identified for the establishment of agri-parks and all districts of the Eastern Cape are beneficiaries of this programme, including Chris Hani.
Forming part of the agri-sector revitalisation programme, agri-parks were established to benefit farmers and land reform beneficiaries.
Nkwinti said the Chris Hani District Municipality and the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform had done a great job with the launch.
“Let us work together and fix everything. Let us not go to courts to resolve things we can solve among ourselves. Agri-parks are for poor people. Take care of them.”
Nkwinti said the government was not a talk shop but was bringing development to the people. He appealed to people not to damage infrastructure.
“Farming must be used to provide for families and no land must remain unused.”
Rural development and agrarian reform MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane said black people were taking the country into their hands. He said the day of the launch symbolised a miracle.