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Minister investigates water problem on Paarl farm

Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, together with Gesie van Deventer, Drakenstein Mayor, paid a visit to Paarl farmer, JT Basson, earlier today. Basson has been issued with a warning that his irrigation water supply will be cut within 24 hours by the Department of Water Affairs if drinking water is not restored to ten houses on his land. Read more here.


Western Cape Government averts chaos in already stricken ostrich industry

"Quick response and teamwork from the Western Cape Government has averted potential chaos in the Oudtshoorn Ostrich industry", Gerrit van Rensburg said today in Riversdale, Southern Cape". Read more here.

Minister Van Rensburg responds to Farm Worker Reports

Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, once again urges anyone with information on the implementation of the "dop-system", where farm workers in the Western Cape are allegedly being paid with wine, to come forth with information. Read more here.

Minister van Rensburg Wishes China Wine Delegation Good Luck

Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, yesterday (17 August 2011) gave his best wishes to the South African wine delegation which will participate in the fifth Yantai International Wine Festival in Yantai, Shandong Province, China. Read more here.


Generating Electricity from Farming By-Products is the Future for Farmers

"In the light of ever-increasing electricity costs, farmers need to investigate alternative measures to offset this production cost," Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said at the recent Agri Western Cape Congress held in Goudini. Read more here

Western Cape-Burgundy Wine Exchange Programme: New Book Celebrates 10 Years

The Western Cape-Burgundy Wine Exchange Programme celebrated it's 10th birthday on a high note with the launch of a new book: Bourgogne Western Cape: Vines and Life, encounters and sharing" by Florence Zito and Philippe Maupetit. The book reflects on 10 years of co-operation, especailly in the agricultural field, portraying a number of praticipating farmers, farmworkers and training institutions. Read more here and download the photo here.

FET lecturer awarded AVCASA award

Henry Cook, senior lecturer at the Cape Institute for Agricultural Training, received an award for service to the society and environment from AVCASA during the 2010 AVCASA Congress in Gauteng. The award is made in recognition of individuals who play a critical role in providing training and assistance to agricultural stakeholders as far as strategies to pest management and disease resistance in animal and crop production is concerned. Read more here.

Additional help for Eden farmers requested

Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gerrit van Rensburg, asked National Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, for an additional R50 million disaster aid towards the drought stricken Eden District. "The R26.9 million received from National Government earlier this year is spent", Van Rensburg said today. The Eden District was declared a disaster area in November 2009 due to an ongoing drought. Read more here.

Gerrit van Rensburg opens farmworker summit

Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, addressed delegates at the Western Cape Farm Worker Summit in Goudini, outside Rawsonville. He said that the Western Cape Government acknowledges the valuable role farm workers play in the province. "You are important people", Van Rensburg said. Read more here. Read speech here

First Rift Valley fever fatality in the Western Cape - no need to panic

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed today that a 49-year old male from the Karoo has been the first human to die from Rift Valley Fever in the Western Cape. He died in Oudtshoorn Hospital. The NICD is still investigating the patient’s source of exposure. It is unsure in which manner he contracted the disease. There have been confirmed cases of Rift Valley Fever in animals in the Oudtshoorn area. Read more here.

Enough Rift Valley Fever vaccine available

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture today confirmed that Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) has significantly increased its Rift Valley Fever (RVF) vaccine production. It is building up an adequate quantity of inactive RVF vaccine. The inactivated vaccine is safe to use on all animals, including pregnant animals. Currently OBP has more than 5 million doses of live RVF vaccine, but this type of vaccine may cause abortions in pregnant animals. Read more here.


Western Cape steps up Rift Valley Fever fight

Gerrit van Rensburg, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Western Cape announced that the fight to keep Rift Valley Fever out of the Western Cape has been stepped up. An additional 35 000 units of livestock in the northern parts of the province will now be inoculated as part of the Department of Agriculture’s preventative strategy, Van Rensburg said. Read more here.
Fact sheets available here.

Potato training day at Elsenburg

Potatoes South Africa and the Department of Agriculture will host a potato training day on 23 and 24 March at Elsenburg. Read more here.

SKOG Farmer's days have new format

After discussions with various roleplayers it was decided that the SKOG farmer's days will from now on have the format og SKOG Trials feedback days. Read more here

Minister concerned about increased fuel levy

“I am concerned about the effect that the raised fuel levy will have on the shelf price of food, as fuel costs play a major role in the distribution thereof”, Gerrit van Rensburg, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Western Cape, said in response to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s recent National Budget announcement on the increased fuel levy. Read more here.

Southern Cape gets drought aid

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Western Cape, Gerrit van Rensburg, today announced an aid package of R26.9 Million for the drought stricken Eden District Municipality in the southern Cape. The area was declared a disaster area on 13 November 2009. Read more here.

Call for funding applications: Farmworker Development Programme 2010/11

Applications for funding for Farmworker Development programmes are now invited. The deadline for applications is 26 February. Application forms, together with supporting documents must be sealed in a clearly addressed envelope and posted or hand delivered to the Department of Agriculture’s district offices. Download English application form here and Afrikaans application form here.


Young Professionals Programme now open for applications

The objective of the Programme for Young Professional Persons (YPP) is the empowerment of individuals from previously disadvantaged communities through the gaining of experience and formal academic training. Click here for more information on the programme and how to apply for 2010.


Essay competition winners announced

The Department of Agriculture hosted an essay competition where entrants had to motivate why agriculture is important and how they propose to make a difference in the sector. The two winners were Michael Balele and Ayabonga Kalipa. Read more.

Prickly pear information day

Due to a need for an alternative crop in the dryer areas of the Western Cape an information day on prickly pear production will be held in George on 30 July. Prickly pear as a fruit crop as well as feed for livestock will be discussed. Practical aspects regarding production will be addressed. For more information contact Dr Jacques van Zyl.

Agribusiness and climate change conference

An agribusiness and climate change conference will be held at the Erinvale Hotel, Somerset West from 17-18 June 2009. This conference is held with the Department of Agriculture: Western Cape, the SA Agri Academy, the British Consulate General in Cape Town and UK Trade and Invest as partners. Full particulars and registration details available here. Well-known speakers from South Africa and the UK will feature on the programme.