R1 billion budget for Western Cape agriculture

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The Western Cape minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, recently tabled the department’s budget of R1,018 billion in the provincial parliament.

Minister Meyer said: “Despite compounding challenges such as intensified delays and inefficiencies at the ports, increased geopolitical uncertainty, and load shedding, the agriculture and agri-processing exports increased from R63 billion in 2018 to R104 billion in 2023 which is an annual average growth of 11%.”

Minister Meyer announced the following key budgetary allocations:

  • R196,2 million to promote the sustainable use and management of natural resources. R40,3 million is budgeted for ecological infrastructure, R38,5 million for river protection works and R38 million towards flood damage support.
  • R216,4 million towards producer support services.
  • The Department’s Extension and Advisory Services have been allocated R35,4 million and R16,7 million will go towards food security initiatives.
  • R57,8 million to provide animal health services to prevent and control animal diseases.
  • R97,8 million to improve agricultural production through research, focusing on mitigation and adaptation options for farmers in response to climate change.
  • R30,6 million to provide production economics and marketing services to agri-businesses.
  • R48,2 million towards education and training and agricultural skills development.

Read more about the Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards here.

The minister also announced that the refurbished South African National Accreditation System-accredited Provincial Veterinary Laboratory will re-open for business on 1 April 2024. This laboratory is an important role-player in enhancing the biosecurity of the agricultural sector in the Western Cape.

“This budget will support the Western Cape Government’s growth strategy which sets an ambitious target of building a trillion-rand jobs-rich, inclusive, sustainable, diverse, and resilient provincial economy, growing at between four and six percent per year in real terms by 2035.

Agri producers, workers and businesses have demonstrated season after season that agriculture is worth investing in. We are determined to use this budget to invest further in the growth and development of the industry,” concluded minister Meyer. – Press release, Western Cape Department of Agriculture

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