In his state of the province address Mahumapelo said: "Government will provide seeds and implements, and ensure that state hospitals procure all their required supplies from these cooperatives".
He said the that the roll-out of the land allocation would take three years.
His spokesman, Sam Mokaila, said all young people and women who were organised under properly registered cooperatives would benefit from this initiative.
"Government farms, including those owned by municipalities, are at different use levels. No productive farms will be affected by this intervention," he said.
Makaila said that once identified and farming was under way, the cooperatives would be linked to chosen state hospitals and selected schools that need nutrition.
"The programme is open anybody affiliated through a cooperative, which is registered with government and its members have the requisite skills. If they do not have those skills these will be taught through an incubation process provided by our Enterprise Development Department," he said.
"Further details on how many farms will be available, where they are, the financial implications (and) the identification of beneficiaries identification, will be spelled out during MEC's budget speech later in July," said Mokaila.
DA spokeswoman on Agriculture in the North West, Annette Steyn, said the provincial government's initiative was similar to her party's policy.
"Our concern is that we are still not sure which entity of government owns which piece of land, and we have not seen a training plan for beneficiaries. Land reform fails because of lack of proper training for beneficiaries," she said.
"Land on its own does not have value, it depends what you do with that land. It is a good idea and we hope that people will not be left there without resources and proper training," said Steyn.
Agri SA North West Chief Executive, Boeta du Toit, said his organisation would be willing to assist beneficiaries through stakeholder platforms.
"Mahumapelo is in favour of working in partnership to provide necessary capacity and development. Together with other stakeholders, we will assist in creating an enabling environment," said Du Toit.
Source: The Times via I-Net Bridge
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