Committee chairperson Lulu Johnson said part of their oversight visit will be to scrutinise the impact of state interventions such as the mechanisation programme and the broader infrastructure programme that support farming towards ensuring food security for all in SA.
The oversight visit, which forms part of the committee’s mandate of ensuring food security across all districts of Free State, began on Monday.
Johnson said the visit also accords the committee members an opportunity to interact with beneficiaries and determine whether the programme is making a positive difference in people’s lives.
“These oversight visits also helps us to determine the effectiveness with which the government’s mechanisation programme funds are utilised and to identify any challenges that are prevalent in various districts and provinces in implementing the programme.
“Again, this will help us to assess the impact these infrastructure programmes have on the farmers towards accessing the markets, as well as overseeing progress made on infrastructural development, including irrigation schemes, fences and roads,” he said.
The committee has previously raised concerns with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries over the lack of proper monitoring and accountability of the mechanisation programme, and insufficient additional support to farming communities on the utilisation and maintenance of state-donated farming equipment.