SA farmers make big impact in Congo - Pieter Mulder

FF+ leader says farmers getting the recognition abroad that they're being denied at home

Discussion with Congolese President about SA farmers

 "Within a very short time the South African farmers in the Republic of the Congo have made a huge impression on the president of the Congo and the minister of agriculture of that country," Dr. Pieter Mulder, leader of the FF Plus and deputy minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, said.

Dr. Mulder held talks with the president of the Congo, Mr, Dennis Sassou Nguesso as well as with the minister of agriculture, Mr. Robert Maboundou, during his visit to that country last week. The talks dealt with amongst others, the position and future of South African farmers in the Congo. Both leaders spoke with great praise about what the South African farmers had already accomplished in the Congo within a couple of months of being in that country.

The farmers have established themselves on a state farm of 85 000 ha in the Niari Valley. Within a couple of months the farmers had de-forested 1200 ha and planted maize in its stead. The repaired the water pumps and pipes to the land with the result that the local population now also has tap water. Where the local baker sold only a few loafs of bread a week, he is selling 200 loafs of bread a day as a result of the new job opportunities and money available to the local community. The Congolese minister of agriculture made a video of the farmer's successes to show it to the president. The project was also declared as a presidential project.

"It is with mixed feelings that one listens to the gratitude that the local politicians have for the farmer's expertise and diligence. Only once the leaders and the population of South Africa start to realise the value of these farmers, we will be able to turn the loss of these farmers and agricultural expertise around," according to Dr. Mulder

Dr. Pieter Mulder and minister Mr. Robert Maboundou

Dr. Pieter Mulder and president Dennis Sassou Nguesso


Statement issued by Dr. Pieter Mulder, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and FF Plus leader, May 2 2012

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