LDARD to lease thousands of hectares to Limpopo residents

SEKHUKHUNE – The MEC responsible for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nandi Ndalane encourages the people of Limpopo to apply for the advertised available Agricultural State land. Ndalane particularly encourages, women, youth and people with disabilities to use this opportunity to obtain farms for agricultural purposes. The MEC’s call follows the announcement made earlier last month by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development (LDARD),Thoko Didiza that 896 farms measuring 700 000 hectares of underutilized or vacant land have been made available to the previously disadvantaged people. Limpopo has 121 567 hectares of land available for this purpose.

Through this land reform programme, government offers a 30-year leasehold with an option to buy. According to Ndalane, this leasehold is subject to conditions amongst them including the lease agreement signed between the state and the beneficiary will be a legally binding contractual agreement, the lease agreement will not be transferable under any circumstances, the beneficiary will not be allowed to sub-lease or sublet a portion of land or the whole of the farm under the leasehold between him/her and the state. Ndalane furthered said the beneficiary will have to manage, maintain and keep the record of assets received from the state, beneficiaries will pay a monthly or annual rental fee per hectare determined by the state, consistent with the value of the land in line with area valuation. She indicated that any investment made by the beneficiary must be recorded, valued and reported to the state. A credit management system will be put in place to manage debt recovery and management.

The beneficiary has an obligation to manage, maintain and keep the record of assets received from the state. “Failure to comply with any of the contractual obligations listed, the state will consider the option of terminating the lease,” she said. Encouraging the people of Limpopo, Ndalane expressed that access to agricultural land over many years has been a major impediment to many people who wanted to participate in Agriculture. “This development presents a great opportunity for our people to access the land and actively participate in food production in our province. I am encouraging women, young people and people with disabilities with interest in agriculture to cease this opportunity, access the land and get into agriculture.

This decision by government to make land available presents a great opportunity for the creation of jobs, economic development, food production and skills development,” said Ndalane. She emphasized that government has a resolve to deliver on the land reform programme. ”All beneficiaries who have been allocated state land and signed the lease agreements will be subjected to a compulsory training programme. The training programme will include entry level training on the commodity of their choice, basic record keeping and basic financial management as well as enterprise development,” concluded Ndalane. Application forms can be obtained on the departmental website or offices. The closing date for applications is 16 November 2020.

Thapelo Motseo

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