Free State Agriculture (FSA) is every member who chooses to become involved in his local agricultural community by joining an active agricultural association.

Fire disaster fund

Help our farmers back on their feet

Free State Farmers will help make SA work – REGARDLESS

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Regardless of whether Government can keep to the noble plans committed to by President Ramaphosa in his upbeat 2023 State of the Nations address, the farmers of the Free State will continue regardless to make plans to over-come challenges as is hard-wired into their DNA! ‘n Boer maak ‘n plan! – A farmer always makes a plan!

Free State Agriculture welcomes a commitment by the presidency to address the energy challenge with urgency and await measures referred to treasury to incentivise alternative energy production and increasing grid capacity and reliability. According to Dr Jack Armour, commercial manager for FSA, Free State farmers indicated that load shedding cost at least R371 million to the sector in just 2 months (Dec 2022 and Jan 2023). “The R371million is made up of crop losses as a result of farmers not being able to irrigate, other farmers and agri-businesses not being able to maintain cold chains and process food and forced spending on emergency alternative energy sources and the fuel to operate these.”

Speaking on the declaration of a state of disaster, Friedl von Maltitz, vice-president of FSA, said that the organisations’ members are opposed to the announcement, based on the corruption and dangerous levels of power granted to the state during Covid-19. “We will urge our members to comply, however where regulations are counterproductive to financial survival and/or to food security we will immediately lobby to mobilise the official channels as we did during Covid-19.”  

“A disaster declaration means limited funds get redirected to, for example diesel for emergency energy production while power stations are being fixed. We will keep those administering and managing the funds accountable and try and ensure the funds are used effectively. Where funds are desperately needed for maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure such as roads and rural safety, we will lobby to insist that the funds remain to address these.”

FSA awaits the Budget Speech of 22 February that will balance the finances amongst the needs and plans proposed in the SONA.

Mr Ramaphosa said all the right things for potential investors and upcoming elections, admitting “our greatest weaknesses are in state-owned enterprises and local government” and “a professional public service, staffed by skilled, committed and ethical people, is critical to an effective state and ending corruption, patronage and wastage”. We can only hope that he is able to put action to words and implement the changes needed to make South Africa work again through his cabinet and raise the “hope that defines us a nation”, “leaving no one behind”.

Regardless – we will carry on!