KZN DARD MEC SUPER ZUMA UNLEASHES MULTI-PLANTING SEASON ROLL-OUT IN UMKHANYAKUDE DISTRICT TO REVIVE THE DISTRICT AS THE FOOD BASKET OF SOUTHERN AFRICA
Indumo, Jozini – Jubilation and ululation as farmers received machinery, farming implements and seedlings during the roll-out of the 2023/24 Provincial Multi-Planting Season in uMkhanyakude District on Tuesday.
Hundreds of farmers acknowledged MEC Super Zuma for his determination to eradicate poverty and for the job opportunities created as a result of the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's intervention with its programmes.
Meanwhile, Miss Thembeni Gumede who is the chairperson of the Ndumo B cooperative, was left speechless following the Department's interventions. "I never thought that our project could reach such great heights. Through the Department's interventions, we have been provided with knowledge and skills, exposure to various markets and relevant stakeholders. We would like to thank the Department for providing extension and advisory services to us as communal farmers; our project now has the potential to change our lives and bridge the gap between emerging and commercial farmers", said Miss Gumede.
Approximately 2000 hectares were planted throughout the district, with 100 hectares cultivated at eNdumo B cooperative, Ward 13 in Jozini.
MEC Super Zuma applauded the uMkhanyakude farmers for consistently producing high-quality produce at all times.
MEC Zuma also stated that the intention is to assist small-scale farmers to increase their productivity and become more integrated into the provincial agricultural economy, as well as to improve agriculture in rural communities.
"Farmers, I urge you to develop an interest in agriculture in order to combat poverty and reduce our province's high unemployment rate. What intrigues me the most about this community is that it is well known among relevant stakeholders for supplying markets with high-quality produce. As a result, we are calling upon those who have not yet planted to lend a hand as we intensify the combat against poverty alleviation and malnutrition in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.
“Our country faces a triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment. I am here to encourage each family to fight hunger and provide food security with our One Home, One Garden programme. There must not be a home without a garden. We have been speaking to religious leaders to promote the One Church, One Garden programme and we have made a plea to churches to partner with the Department. We have also taken the programme to schools: One School, One Garden. Some children from poor families depend on school meals, but if schools grow vegetables, these families will have meals to cook. No family will be without a plate of food,” said MEC Zuma.
Inkosi Mathenjwa from the Mathenjwa Traditional Council, showed appreciation for the work that the Department continues to do for the community, saying his people had benefited immensely. He highlighted that the area faced water challenges, which hindered many farmers. However, plans by the Department to provide sufficient water would change lives.
“MEC Super Zuma and the Department have done much for our community, and we are thankful,” said Inkosi Mathenjwa.