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Western Cape Agriculture budget brings hope

Agri Western Cape was encouraged by the provincial Department of Agriculture's 2024/2025 Appropriation Budget, as tabled by Minister Ivan Meyer on Tuesday, 26 March 2024.

Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Ivan Meyer

The budget of R1.018 billion, which is R57.8 million or 6% more than the previous budget, is welcomed by Agri Western Cape. "Given the challenging fiscal climate and many challenges facing the agricultural sector, the allocation of funds is a difficult task. Agri Western Cape is of the opinion that Minister Meyer has well prioritized the allocation of available funds to address the prevailing challenges in our sector", says Jannie Strydom, chief executive officer of Agri Western Cape.

Strydom further states that the budget is aligned with Minister Meyer's five ministerial priorities. "Agri Western Cape believes that the budget will enable Minister Meyer to achieve the clear and measurable goals he has set as his priorities." Minister Meyer's first priority, namely agricultural education, training and research provides for R48.2 million in the coming financial year

"Although the budget is less than in the current financial year, it must be taken into account that the third iteration of the Fly Over project was recently completed, as well as that nine research projects were financed by the Alternative Crops Fund. "It seems clear that the department believes in helping the sector grow through scientific-based support." Furthermore, there was a remarkable increase in the number of schools that expanded their curriculum by including agricultural subjects," says Strydom.

The sustainability of the Western Cape agricultural sector remains subject to the maintaining of and availability of our natural resources. Agri Western Cape is therefore delighted to learn that the budget for the sustainable resource use and management program has been increased by R61.4-million, i.e. 46% to R196.2-million.

The R97.8 million allocated to improve agricultural production through research, with a focus on mitigation and adaptation options for farmers in response to climate change, is also a positive allocation for Agri Western Cape.

Given the extent of damage caused by last year's floods, it is gratifying to learn that the river protection works budget has been increased by R20-million to R38.5-million. Furthermore, the additional R38-million that is budgeted for the support for flood damages brings hope to producers affected by this, while national financial support is still awaited.

For more information:
Rojeanne de Wet
Agri Western Cape
Tel: +27 71 170 3744
Email: [email protected]

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