Deputy Minister Obed Bapela visited the Centane and Mbashe Agricultural Initiative on Wednesday, 18 September 2019. The Agricultural Initiative is a development model for profitable and sustainable farming of communally owned land in the Eastern Cape
Since its inception in 2012, this Women Investment Portfolio Holdings Limited (WIPHOLD) initiative has cultivated more than 2 000 hectares of land across 34 villages in Eastern Cape, and distributed more than R18 million to participating community shareholders through fees and dividends.
Participating landowners each receive ten 40kg bags of maize per season in the form of a land-use fee, and each project member receives dividend payments and training in areas such as basic bookkeeping, enterprise development, farming and equipment management. Thus far, the project has created permanent and temporary jobs.
Deputy Minister Bapela said the project has increased food security and achieved a significant blow to poverty and unemployment. “This model bodes well for the country’s Agrarian Revolution efforts and is worth emulating across South Africa,” he said.