oa Africa Insight - Emerging farmers: reaping what you sow

Volume 32, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



In 1987, 50000 hectares of commercial farmland were added to QwaQwa, a former homeland located in the north-eastern comer of the Free State Province. The purpose of this project was to establish black commercial farmers on the acquired land. Agriqwa, a government-owned corporation, acted as development agent and was given the task of establishing the new farmers. Since the inception of the programme in 1987, a total of 114 farmers practising mixed farming have been settled on farms averaging 400 hectares. In 1992, Agriqwa was renamed Agri-Eco. After the general elections of 1994 and the election of a new government, policies regarding agriculture changed drastically. In the Free State, the provincial Department of Agriculture shifted its focus to small-scale vegetable farmers, community vegetable gardens and the establishment of small and micro-businesses.1 The Department of Agriculture in the Free State made it clear that resources for training and development would largely be channelled to small-scale and subsistence farmers and that the needs of commercial farmers would have to be addressed by the private sector.

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