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Limpopo’s MEC for Agriculture knows nothing about farming

In his 2023/24 Budget Speech, Limpopo’s MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Thabo Mokone, mentioned the slogan adopted by his Department in which agriculture is referred to as “a leisure for some”. It is insulting and demonstrates that Mokone has no clue what farming entails.

The slogan is: “Evangelising agriculture and food production to be a culture by all, no longer just a leisure for some”.

The word “evangelise” means to “convert” and is usually used in the context of trying to “convert someone to Christianity”. Being a Christian party, the FF Plus finds the use of this word in the slogan inappropriate.

Insinuating that Limpopo farmers, who provide food for the province and the country without the Department of Agriculture’s help, are merely doing it for leisure demonstrates just how ignorant the MEC is, and that the slogan is in poor taste.

The Department complains about the price of fertiliser, while those same hard-working farmers are bending over backwards to pay those sky-high prices because they have accepted, with integrity, the responsibility to produce food.

Farmers do not see constantly living in fear of the next murderous attack as leisure. They also do not see it as leisure to repair and maintain public roads to transport their goods to markets. It is not a leisure to pay for additional security measures because their pipes, power cables and solar panels are stolen on a daily basis. And it is certainly no form of leisure to endure severe droughts.

Besides, they are not doing all this only for themselves, but also for their workers.

The farmers in Limpopo who farm for leisure are those who were handed fully functional farms, but lacked the necessary expertise, and ran them into the ground by standing idly by while the farms go to ruin and can no longer contribute anything to food production, job creation or the economy.

Farming is not a leisure activity, it is hard work, and it seems that this Department has unwittingly admitted that it has failed by adopting this inapt slogan.

Limpopo deserves better than the ANC.

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