MPUMALANGA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND LAND ADMINISTRATION
19 OCTOBER 2005
INPUTS TO THE NCOP BUDGET REVIEW PUBLIC HEARING
OLD ASSEMBLY BUILDING CAPE TOWN
INPUT BY MEC FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND ADMINISTRATION IN MPUMALANGA, MR. MADALA MASUKUTO THE NCOP BUDGET REVIEW PUBLIC HEARING HELD ON 19 OCTOBER 2005- OLD ASSEMBLY BUILDING CAPE TOWN
Chairperson of the Committee
Members of the NCOP and the General Public
In the MIEF period under review, indeed we have seen some drastic increase in the allocations for Agriculture and Land. In our province these increases, as you would realize from Table A12.8 on page 243 of the Provincial Budgets and Expenditure Review 2001/02 -2007/08, affected almost all our programmes as it will be outlined here under
PROGRAMME 1: ADMINISTRATION
The increase in the admin cost in the past two years was as a result of correct placement of the chief Directors office in Administration. Of course there has been increase in Admin costs owing to the increase in responsibilities as other programmes were beginning to be geared up towards delivery.
PROGRAMME 2: RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
As a result of the noted increasing budget allocation to this programmed over the past two financial years:
· R49m was invested on 14 irrigation systems, and
· S farm dams worth R15m in order to get farmers back to tilling the land.
During the current year
· R10,2 m is being invested to community 6 irrigation projects
· 3 farm dams are being constructed in the current ~ R5 million
· R 20m worth of yellow fleet has been acquired in order to assist with the.
For the future
· 5 Catchments planned for the next10years @ R 100m, starting with a catchments which is implemented in the next three years worth R251m and;
PROGRAMME 3: ON FARMER SUPPORT
On farmer Support, we want to welcome the increase that has been affected in the current MTEF circle. These increases are of assistance in that since the introduction of CASP grant from national and from equity funding, we have seen 97 small projects that were implemented to intervene mostly food security activities such as fencing of food gardens and water provision as well as fencing of camps for stock holding in the previous year.
In the current year, the focus was more on improving commercial production for small farmers and Land Reform beneficiaries through mechanization and infrastructure development on the farms, with major emphasis on irrigation infrastructure. Broiler infrastructure and greenhouses R 18m has been allocated 63 mega projects are being implemented. It is of importance to mention that 9 Land reform projects just received for the first time 9 tractors accompanied by implements, which allowed them to go back to tilling the land.
We expect to see an increase in the allocation for Comprehensive Agricultural Support as more and more communities go back the land.
PROGRAMME 4: VETERINARY SERVICES
· Veterinary service has seen a major increase in its budget, as the exports intensify and the understanding of the significant role this unit plays with regard to ensuring animal health and well-being. With the noted increase, we have seen an electric fence erected to bar buffaloes and other cloven-hove animals from crossing the Kruger National Park and put the country at risk with regard to Foot and Mouth disease.
· 17 Dip tanks and 3 new animal handling facilities.
· Maintained 39 existing dip tanks and 15 handling facilities and the existing laboratories.
Current and future
· 1 new laboratory is being built.
· The province will be building 4 new animal health centres in rural communities for this year and 4 more will be built for next year and more and more in the subsequent years, hence the reflected figure.
PROGRAMM5: RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY
· The first major increase was as a result of the province normalizing and recognizing research and technology as major in the province. With this increase we have seen a number of adaptation experiments carried out including the production of a better size of tick-resistant cattle breed,
It can be noted that beyond 2005/06, there is a notable stability.
PROGRAMME 6: AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
· The increase in allocation indicates the introduction of value addition funding that has allowed 11 projects to be funded over a tune of R10m by this year
· Also was as a result of some allocation for drought relief in the two subsequent years.
· This will continue and begin to stabilize over the years
PROGRAMME 7: STRUCTURAL AGRICULTURAL TRAINING
· The upward and then downward trend is a reflection of the seriousness that was put on this programme and the realization that it was under funded. As such the programme was normalized through increasing its baseline. This has put the college on track by moving it from conditional accreditation to a full accreditation.
Chairperson, taking it from above, one can see there are tremendous efforts towards funding of Agriculture and Land use issues. This will not only contribute in the efforts to half poverty by 2015, but to grow our economy in a manner that it will be able to absorb as large numbers as possible in jobs and assist in the attempts to meet the 2015 goals of halving poverty. The interventions as outlined above, attempt to cover these two challenges of fighting hunger and joblessness.
However, challenges exists with regard to level of capacity to spent within the administration, emanating from either deficiencies in skills with regard planning and project management and monitoring and evaluation or the failure to match the task ahead with the available human resources and other required resources.
In the coming years we are anticipating lots of pressure as a result of progress made in restitution and we may see a rise in expenditure on employee compensation as high leveled and specialized personnel may be required to assist this crop of new farmers with no experience in the field.
In Conclusion we hope that this will shed some light to the members of the community on the kind of challenges we are facing and understanding on where their resources go.