Chairperson, the report was tabled in the ATC of 24 October 2011 and, in terms of the recommendations, the portfolio committee felt strongly about the following.
The portfolio committee is of the opinion that the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries must be accountable for all the funds disbursed to provinces and must be able to monitor how the funds are used.
Any budgetary increase for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries needs to consider prioritising research and technology development by increasing the grant allocation to the Agricultural Research Council, which is the country's premier agricultural research institution, and the Onderstepoort Biological Products, which currently does not get any budget allocation from the department.
The portfolio committee was also concerned - and felt strongly - that there should be consideration of options by the department to minimise the use of consultants.
The extension recovery plan has not yielded tangible results in terms of benefits to the people that are served by the extension services.
By March 2012, the department must present a plan for this sector, outlining the number of people that the country feeds through domestic production and imports, and the plan must include long-term projections of food needs.
Development farmers who acquired farms through private means must be provided with assistance to run their farms productively. The legislation that constrained the development of the sector needs to be reviewed and amended where necessary.
We present the Report to this House for consideration. I thank you. [Applause.]