Founder and director of the Vegetable Agric Development Organization, Mhlobo Mbane. PHOTO: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG  - The requirements to access credit for purchasing stock are very unreasonable, with the system apparently designed to cater mostly for commercial farmers, an Eastern Cape emerging farmer has said.

Mhlobo Mbane, who is the founder and director of the Vegetable Agric  Development Organization based in Sompondo village in Alice, said state of affairs made it hard for emerging farmers to be productive.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2019 edition of the AGRI 5 Commodities Workshop & Expo, Mbane said the forum had helped farmers by bridging the gap between them and private companies in the sector.

He said while the government hosted training workshops, officials running them sometimes had no understanding of the technical end of farming products.

"It would be ideal for the companies who make these products to be the ones who engage the farmers and facilitate the training," he said.

"We strongly believe this would lead to the growth and increase of farmers. We have lost a lot of life stock over the years, due to being supplied with incorrect pharmaceutical information."

"This expo helps us to access and engage the owners of these products directly, and gives us an opportunity to gain the information we need too use these products accordingly," he added.

Mbane said another major challenge for emerging farmers was the long distances they had to travel.

"We want companies to consider (extending) access of their products to the rural areas, and not expect farmers to drive all the way to the main cities around the country, in order to access the products as it is cumbersome," he said.

- African News Agency (ANA)