South Africa has been able to meet 50% of its target for food production in the fourth quarter of 2016, despite the drought.
Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe on Thursday said 374 299 hectares of under-utilised land were cultivated on farms under the Recapitalisation and Development Programme.
He was addressing the media on the outcomes of the fortnightly Cabinet meeting.
While prolonged drought conditions, since 2014, started to taper in the fourth quarter of 2016 as rainfall brought new hope to our economy, the impact will take a few months.
The recent outbreak of the Fall Army Worm in Limpopo [however] poses a new risk to crops, the Minister said.
A total of 244 073 people also benefitted from food security initiatives by the Department of Social Development, including those that were fed at community development centres.
The Department of Social Development procured produce from 43 local cooperatives at R1 684 238.21, in line with 75% local procurement proposals, said Minister Radebe.
School feeding scheme
On the National School Nutrition Programme, 6 784 179 learners from 10 300 quintile 1 - 3 primary and secondary schools have benefitted from the programme.
A total of 5 408 and eight service providers, including 1 1 42 community based co-operatives and 3 112 Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs), as well as 1 154 retail/wholesalers have been contracted to supply food products to schools.
In addition, 541 121 youth and 291 304 women benefitted from the interventions implemented in the rural areas during this quarter.
Source: South African Government News Agency