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Monday, April 16, 2012

Cape Town - A total of 72 tractors have so far been delivered free to black farmers as part of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson's plan to donate 502 tractors to seven provinces.

The plan forms part of the department's mechanisation programme and follows on the successful delivery in June last year of 85 new tractors each to Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

Responding to a parliamentary question a member of the Opposition raised in the National Assembly recently, Joemat-Pettersson, provided a list of the number and type of tractors that each province had so far received.

Under the plan each of the seven provinces will receive 62 tractors valued at about R160 million - which include John Deere, YTO, Massey Ferguson and Landini models - with engine capacities of 42kW, 62kW and 90kW, respectively.

Each of the tractors cost between R236 000 and R522 000 each, depending on their size.

So far, Gauteng has received 36 tractors, while the Free State, the Western Cape and the North West have received 12 tractors each.

Tractors are still to be allocated in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Limpopo.

Joemat-Pettersson said the terms and conditions of the use of the tractors would be determined by the mechanisation policy applicable in each province.

In Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal the tractors are owned by the state and managed by service providers that then make these, as well as tractor drivers, available to emerging farmers free of charge.

In Mpumalanga, the fleet of tractors is part of the Masibuyele Emasimini programme, while in KwaZulu-Natal, the state owns and manages the tractors and employs and trains the tractor drivers.