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Farmworkers are overlooked - Dept.

The Agriculture Department says it now needs to implement strategies to make farming profitable.

FILE: Western Cape grape farm whilst labourers. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Agriculture Department believes farmworkers were overlooked in a De Doorns panel discussion on Saturday.

A government delegation led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe addressed farmworker and farmer unions in De Doorns on Saturday.

Questions were asked if any progress was made since the farmworkers strike last year.

The protest action had a severe effect on the agriculture sector in the Western Cape last year.

Western Cape Agriculture MEC Gerrit van Rensburg said his concerned farm labourers were not there to voice their concerns.

"I think that we need to talk to the farmworkers. And I agree with the Deputy President that we must write down our successes. Now we need to stop talking and start implementing."

Van Rensburg also believed more needed to be done to make the agriculture sector more profitable.

"We need to start with the root of the problem and that is the low profitability in the sector. When we get more money in the sector then we will be able to pay workers."