This article was originally published on FS News Online. Click here to read the article on their website.

The Free State Provincial Government under the leadership of premier Sisi Ntombela officially handed over the Vrede Dairy Integrated Farm in Vrede. The project is expected to contribute meaningfully to the economic growth and development of the area.

“The struggle for land and resource is continuing, as expressed in the Freedom Charter. What our government is doing today is indeed a step in the right direction,” said Ntombela. “The founding fathers and mothers of our young democracy have bestowed our nation with a Constitution that seeks to reverse the imbalances of the past. Today, as I am standing here, I am grateful that we have the rightful owners of the project taking over the management and the implementation of this project.”

The project has 65 verified beneficiaries who were identified as the rightful owners of the 2 094ha farm, which already boasts state of the art farming equipment and over 500 different types of cattle and crops.

The Vrede Dairy Integrated Farm is a whopping R280 million investment by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The 65 beneficiaries own a 51% stake on the farm and the remaining 49% will be open to strategic partners to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project.

The project was established in 2012 by the Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development with the aim of empowering black farmers with the knowledge and skill of operating a successful farming dairy enterprise, which would contribute immensely to the local economy and improve the livelihoods of its communities. – FS News Online