New administration of farmers ID cards in place
April 19, 2024

New administration of farmers ID cards in place

The Ministry of Agriculture is rolling out a fresh set of Farmers ID’s under new arrangements outside the ministry.

“I…wish to commend the Farmers Support Company that has now been placed in administrative control of the ID card process for the Farmers ID, and I am happy to announce that since they have been managing the process, they have printed 300 cards,” Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar said in a press update.

The minister explained that the Farmers Support Company (FSC), a revolving credit facility set up by the government, will be carrying out the relevant “due diligence” for the approval of cards.

“The process going forward is going to be very simple. You will speak to the persons at the agriculture stations. There will be a registration form. You will fill out the form and the staff at the station will take those forms to the Farmers Support Company. They will be processed and I advise that once the requisite due diligence is done that the turnaround time to receive your card should be less than three weeks.”

The minister hinted at the challenges farmers face with the sale of produce by those who were not legitimate farmers, also noting that the problem of praedial larceny was discussed in a recent meeting in the community of Lauders with law enforcement authorities.

“It is very important that we work on delivering the cards quickly because a farmer should not participate in the sale of commodities without showing that they are a farmer. And the only way that you can prove that is that when you are participating in a transaction that you can produce your ID card. So the sooner that we can organise to get the cards in the hands of the farmers, it is going to augur well for us as a country doing transactions with agriculture trade internally,” he noted.

“I know that they’re [police] going through different districts. The issue of praedial larceny was raised, the theft of farm animals and produce and that is an issue that I’m going to take up at the highest level so that we can collectively have a solution.”

In late February Opposition Senator, Israel Bruce, gave a scathing tongue-lashing to the Ministry of Agriculture for allegedly perpetuating fraud in the Farmers ID system.

At a New Democratic Party (NDP) press conference the Senator had expressed concerns that State officials were allegedly providing persons who were not legitimate farmers with ID cards and were thereby facilitating the theft and unlawful sale of produce . At the time he had also revealed that plans to move the ID system from within the Ministry were being met with resistance from some staff.