By Luyolo Mkentane
The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) has called on government for more funding in order to continue delivering scientific solutions to farmers, said ARC president and chief executive Dr Shadrack Moephuli.
“The funding is not enough for the work that we are doing. The private sector funds some of the work that we do. In fact, 40% of our money comes from external funding. We would like more funding from government because research is a multi-year process,” Moephuli told Farmer’s Weekly at the release of the ARC annual report at Roodeplaat in Pretoria recently.
He said the research institution was working hard to deliver scientific solutions to farmers.
“We also support commercial and smallholder farmers to be sustainable, competitive and successful.”
Conducting business in the 2014/2015 financial year had been difficult, said Moephuli, due to “poor economic conditions and in some instances poor agriculture sector performance.”
This placed the ARC in a difficult position when it came to generating external income”.
“The ARC continues to face a huge backlog that requires additional funding over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period.
It’s estimated that ARC’s ageing infrastructure, capital replacement and maintenance costs require a capital injection of R480 million,” said Moephuli.