In the article Black farmers need action and support, not government rhetoric" (December 8), Mzukisi Qobo rightfully highlights the need for robust state support for emergent black farmers.

However, with the agricultural sector having seen its fair share of failed transformation, and being accused of adopting short-sighted box-ticking and window-dressing tactics, there is a need for bona fide collaboration between the government and industry associations. These partnerships are critical if we are going to equip emergent growers with sustainable capacity and expertise to navigate the sector with confidence.

The agricultural industry has, for the second successive quarter been integral to GDP growth – achieving 2% in the third quarter. This is a demonstration of the tremendous capacity of this sector. With support, emergent growers who are raring to contribute significantly to the sector’s output could share equitably in these victories.

Through our CGA Grower Development Company we are committed to giving transformation in the citrus industry an inclusive face through growth-centred efforts. Historical and socioeconomic factors have led to many new black-owned farms struggling to survive. What they need are technical advice, training and experiential learning and for a better chance at success – and business skills, market access know-how, and focused enterprise development.

The citrus industry generates 94% of its income from the export arena. Therefore, we work closely with the national and provincial departments of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to provide holistic support for all our growers.

Lukhanyo Nkombisa
GM: CGA Grower Development Company