The Agricultural and Rural Development Research Institute (ARDRI) of Fort Hare, the Raymond Mhlaba Farmers’ Association, and the Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality, hosted the second in their series of public dialogues on rural development on 7 June 2018 at the Alice Town Hall. The topic for this dialogue was Farmer Support Services.
Agriculture has long been cited as central to solving South Africa’s rural unemployment crisis, while also being identified as the backbone of rural development. The National Development Plan of 2012 popularised the idea that, if properly supported, agriculture and its linked sectors could contribute 1 million new jobs by 2030.
On 15 December 2017 the second Keiskammahoek farmers’ market day took place in the open area next to the Keiskammahoek Post Office and opposite the taxi rank. As with the first market, the event was a collaboration between the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR), the Keiskammahoek District Farmers’ Association, ARDRI, Umtiza, and Ntinga Ntaba kaNdoda. ARDRI’s participation in these farmers’ markets was driven by findings from a research project funded by the United States Department for International Development (USAID).