The Western Cape minister of agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer and executive mayor of Swartland Municipality Tjimen van Essen visited Swartland grain and livestock farmers, Alfreda Mars and Andries van der Poll
Alfreda Mars farms with sheep and grain on her farm, Middelpos 946. According to Mars, the farm’s grain production has been doing well over the past two years. The drought, however, has impacted her yield.
She is supported by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture who with Grain SA and the Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) provides funding, mentorship, training and market access support. Her plans include expanding into intensive sheep farming which will make her farm more sustainable.
Andries van der Poll farms 16km outside Riebeeck West on the farm, Klipdrift. Voted Grain SA’s Best New Era Commercial Farmer in 2019, van der Poll is well on his way to becoming a very successful commercial farmer. His main product lines include livestock (sheep and cattle) various grains, and soon they will start with bees. Further funding was approved to fund his proposed diversification model aimed at intensive livestock production.
Commenting on his visit to the two farmers, minister Meyer expressed his satisfaction with their progress to date. According to Minister Meyer, building a sustainable farming business requires hard work, passion, partnerships, skills, mentoring and a willingness to learn from colleagues and other farmers. Today I saw these in action at both Middelpos and Klipdrift farms.
“The Western Cape government will through its partnerships with commodity organisations such as Grain SA and RPO continue to support these farmers. Success in agriculture always happens when people are in the business #ForTheLoveOfAgriculture. Today I witnessed this again.” concluded Meyer.