Ugu’s small farmers to join R70 mln food bank project

2011-03-16 00:00

THE Agriculture and Environmental Affairs Department yesterday launched a partnership with Food Bank South Africa (FBSA) and Techno Serve South Africa (TNS SA) to help emerging farmers gain access to food markets.

The partnership was launched in KwaJoni in Ugu District Municipality, based in Port Shepstone.

Ncumisa Mafunda, a spokesperson for the department, said the pilot project will be kick-started at the Makhatini Flats in Jozini and with farmers from Ugu and Vulamehlo and will cost about R70 million.

The project will span three years and mentor between 250 and 450 small-scale farmers, creating 1 000 permanent jobs and initially developing 400 hectares of agricultural land.

An agricultural food bank will be established to facilitate the sale of the farmers’ produce on the open market and the purchase of their produce by the food bank.

The food bank will supply food to about 350 community-based organisations that collectively serve about 6 000 food-insecure people a month.

TNS SA will give farmers access to resident business advisors and mentors as well as ongoing business development services and support.

The MEC for Agriculture Environmental Affairs and Rural Development, Lydia Johnson, welcomed the opportunity to promote agricultural growth.

FBSA is a NGO with food hubs and satellite food banks across the country. It aims to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in South Africa.

TNS SA is an international non-profit organisation that links small-scale farmers with sustainable value chains.

— Witness Reporter.


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