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DAILY DISPATCH, Business Wednesday, 10 December 2008, p. 9

UP TO THE CHALLENGE: These women in the rural area near Qumbu have initiatedtheir own wheat growing initiative. They were singing while harvesting the golden wheat which they sell to small bakeries and also use in their own homes to sustain their families. Picture:ROUX VAN ZYL



ROUX VAN ZYL Business Editor By


into the financial year the Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture has spent 57 percent of its R624 million annual budget. The department revealed in its half-year budget review in Bhisho yesterday that it has to a large extent focused on the rural areas, especially Transkci, where its tlagsinp massive food programme aims to boost food security and revive the agriculiural economy.

Although spending on








ahead full steam, a recent visit by Dispatch Business to the Mhlontlo Municipality near Tsolo showed that some of the massive food programme projects were collapsing as soon as government funding ended. Head of department Amon Nyondo said their challenge where the programme was rolled out is to get agriculture as a way of life. The plan is stillbeing developed and it is still part of the process to get the thought embedded for the people to put the money they make from the programme back Into it.

As far as this years spending goes, Nyondo said their core business was in building



infrastructure,like fencing and dipping tanks for rural farmers. Apartheid-erairrigation schemes at Neora and Shio are being revitalised,as well as a

pomegranate processingfacility. million was spent on in Transkei. have mines in the Eastern While we dont Cape, our only mine is the soil and if that is eroded we lose our wealth, Nyondo said. He said the department was working closely with Asgisa Eastern Cape tasked with accelerating commerciallyviable agricultural development in Transkei to speed up the agrarian development of the province. A

grant worth


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