NKGONO JANE SAYS…
I would like to apologise to you all for the fact that you did not receive the Pula Imvula for November and December. As we have always acknowledged, we are very dependent on the Maize Trust for the eight-page monthly Pula Imvula.
Unfortunately, this year the approval of the application was delayed and we had to stop the Pula Imvula until the funding had been secured. We are happy to be starting again and hope that we will not miss any more for a long time! I believe that we miss this communication as much as you do – it is our way of talking to you all, wherever you are.
It is the New Year already. For three years, we had drought and then we got a good crop. But, the price was low. This is one of the very difficult things with farming – the price is dependent on the supply and demand – when there is too much of one product, its price drops. When there is not enough, then the price is high. The low prices were bad for most, but they did mean that the consumers were able to pay less for their maize meal – they can thank each one of you for that – the fact that you produced so much maize, helped to bring down the price to the consumers. One of our major tasks is to produce food for the whole country – we did it so well that we suffered. I hope that many of you were also able to keep some for your livestock – they will also have benefited from the surplus.
The predictions for this season are good – we hope that the production of all the crops will be in balance and that you will have a good crop and get a good price – this would be a double blessing.
Our Jobs Fund project has expanded again this year – we have 3 804 farmers in the programme this year and they will be planting more than 5 300 ha. This programme has grown very much from its humble beginnings three years ago (it was 850 farmers on 850 hectares). We did experience some funding challenges this year and we are hoping to be able to request the departments of Agriculture and Land Reform to pledge their long-term support to the programme (through their One Hectare One Household programmes). Without their help, we are not sure if this programme will be able to continue.
If you would like the programme to continue, it would help us very much if you also speak to the local officials and ask them to become part of the programme so that we can share the costs.
I would like to wish you all a very Happy New year – good health to you all, enough rain to sustain the crops and peace for our country. We live in a beautiful country and we are involved in the greatest job on earth – FARMING. Be blessed.
Publication: January 2018