KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mrs Bongi Sithole-Moloi has met with executive management of the department to discuss among others, organizational performance aimed at accelerating delivery of services.
MEC Sithole-Moloi said the department has been embroiled in consistent under-performance, material under expenditure and irregular expenditure which has resulted in poor audit outcomes for some time now.
“The department is now geared towards improving internal processes to ensure better farmers support and urgency to respond to areas requiring intervention,” said MEC Sithole-Moloi.
The department has identified catalytic projects which will deliver high level impact on farmer support and market opportunities.
In response to the SOPA and MEC budget speech, the department senior officials made presentation on the following legacy projects:
· Agri-hubs development
· Development of seed-banks
· Revitalization of Ntingwe estate
The MEC emphasized a need to empower young people through farming beneficiation program in different sectors.
Head of Department Siza Sibande said suitable research centres have been identified for projects that can benefit young people. The department aims to create a number of direct and indirect opportunities
The MEC 2nd session of the engagement focused on the performance of the departmental entities, ADA, Umjindi and Ntingwe.
The MEC has identified a need for a collaboration of systems and operations to maximize performance within the entities.
The department will hold a number of activities to enhance value added services, the opportunities of the 4th Industrial revolution in farming, KZN Agricultural Summit focusing mainly on KZN Master Plan, a summit for women and people living with disabilities.
Four regional youth summits which will be held in the coming weeks are a follow up from the Youth indaba held in Dundee late last year.
Regional Youth and Summit for women and people living with disabilities in agriculture will be held in February, Summit on the benefits of the 4th Industrial revolution in agriculture and KZN master plan will be in March.
The youth summit shall precede with the formulation of KZN Youth in Agriculture Strategy.