Doug Stern
Doug Stern

Eastern Cape farmers worried about the effects of an ongoing crippling drought, mooted land expropriation without compensation and brutal farm attacks, will have a chance to air their concerns.

A provincial road show for farmers held by their representative organisation, Agri Eastern Cape (EC), kicks off on April 10 in Komani, Queenstown, before heading to Graaff-Reinet on Wednesday and wrapping up in Uitenhage on Thursday.

A high-profile delegation from Agri SA will be on hand to provide clarity on the latest developments affecting the agricultural sector, as well as listening to issues raised by the province’s farmers.

Agri EC president, Doug Stern said it was, perhaps more than ever, critical to discuss ’hot topics’ with the Eastern Cape’s farmers, to afford them the opportunity to raise their concerns. “We want to address concerns across the board, listen to what the farmers have to say and then address the issues raised with the relevant authorities,” said Stern.

“We need to give them a platform from which to be heard, without fear of reprisal; a platform on which they can speak their minds freely,” Stern said, adding that it was for this reason that certain sessions would be closed to members of the public.

“Government generally is not very sympathetic towards agriculture,” Stern said. “Therefore, it is of paramount importance to get our [Eastern Cape farmers] message across to our Agri SA representatives who negotiate with the government on our behalf. Farmers are South Africa’s lifeblood, but a barrage of political threats hangs over their heads.” – Press release