Smallholder producers and farmers have been urged to register during the compilation of the Producer/Farmer Register by agriculture minister Senzeni Zokwana. “Our extension officers will be approaching smallholder producers and farmers and I am urging them to open their gates to allow this project to succeed. Related to this is our request for producers and farmers to volunteer the relevant information they have which is necessary for this project,” said Zokwana.
“We want to emphasize that this registration project has no link to the current discourse around expropriation of land without compensation.”
The project by the Dept of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (Daff) assisted by Statistics South Africa as a service provider with expertise, will run from 2018 to 2021.
“As the Dept of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries we have asked StatSA to provide us with services in embarking on a process of statistics collection of commercial and non-commercial farmers. The statistics on commercial farmers will be collected through a Census of Commercial Agriculture (Coca) and statistics on non-commercial farmers will be collected through the Producer/Farmer register. While the Daff will collect data on non-commercial farmers, StatsSA is collecting data on commercial agriculture on behalf of the Daff.
The establishment of the Producer/Farmer Register for South Africa is going to address the following areas for the sector and the country:
q To improve the inaccurate and misrepresented statistics of famers in the non-commercial sector, in particular the smallholder farmers across the country.
q To have a basis from which the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector performance can be measured in the non-commercial sector.
q To enable development of indicators in line with Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and National Development Plan (NDP). These indicators will help in identifying progress in achieving government outcomes.
q To accurately identify smallholder farmers in terms of their geographic distribution and agricultural activities.
q To establish an up-to-date frame of reference for conducting agricultural sector surveys in the country.
q To track the impact of agricultural support amongst beneficiaries in agriculture and development of strategies to help producers overcome the challenges related to natural and unnatural disasters, and,
q To account for beneficiaries in agriculture who are entitled to support services.
The project has been endorsed by the UN Food & Agriculture Organization. (FAO).