Speech by Limpopo MEC for Agriculture Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba during a consultative meeting with commercial farmers, the Ranch, Polokwane
22 Feb 2011
Members of the Legislature
The Head of Department
Senior government officials
Farmers present here
Ladies and gentlemen
It is no secret anymore that Limpopo province stands at the brink of one of the greatest breakthroughs in both mining and Agriculture during this era. As our Premier observed during the State of the Province address last Friday when he said “The mineral wealth of our province has located Limpopo in a firm position to commence massive infrastructure development”. And he went on to say, Agriculture represents one of the strongest pillars responsible for propelling our economic growth forward”.
Programme director, this year’s theme is: "2011 a year of job creation through meaningful economic transformation and inclusive growth”. I am particularly thrilled that I am standing before you, the heartbeat of our economy. I am happy that today we are meeting in this fashion, where we would come out with concrete ways of doing things our own way. To quote the President during his State of the Nation address when he said two weeks ago:
"Research has indicated that we can create jobs in six priority areas. These are infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green economy and tourism. We cannot create these jobs alone. We have to work with business, labour and community constituencies".
Program director, friends and colleagues, there is no better truth than what the President said. We in Limpopo have to stand together like brothers and sisters. When it rains it rains for us all. When it floods and destroys crops, the pain is for us all. When there are running veld fires, the burning goes deep in our hearts.
You have no idea how many times I have asked officials in the department about the veld fires in Thabazimbi and elsewhere late last year. You have no idea how it pained me to know that most of your farms have either been submerged in water or hail and storm has washed away everything. It’s like a pain of a mother who has just lost her only child. That is the pain we are here to share today. We will share the pain and also the joys of farming.
Programme director, as we leave through that door, we should have an idea how we will deal with crime in the farming community. Here I am talking about both crimes. Crimes against farmers, and also crime against farm workers. We should be truthful against each other and be honest about what we intend doing for this country and especially this province.
Two weeks ago we introduced a social page in our website and in the department. We are one of the first departments in the province where you can chat with the MEC and the department on Facebook. Without abusing the system, I should be able to chat with each and every farmer on a topic of our choice, and even the officials here will be able to interact with yourselves every hour of the day.
Programme director, one of the things we are doing and which of course need feedback from you, is the way we interact with you. Since I was introduced in the department I have had several meetings with different organisations including AGRI SA. I have found that these meetings are cordial and very mutual. We should be able to continue along that way and also talk to others who may not be members of such organisations. The time of living in silos is over, “n boer moet nou n plan maak”.Ons moet daar die plan nou sien. Nie more nie, maar nou.
I am not going to do much of the talking alone, and I wish you could talk more and we do more of the listening.
Together we can do it.
I thank you.
Source: Limpopo Department of Agriculture
Issued by: Limpopo Agriculture
22 Feb 2011
[ Top ]