Eradicating poverty in rural communities

2019-06-19 06:02
photo: Andile sitholeEmerging farmers from S’gedlane area create jobs for locals, (from left) Skhumbuzo Zondi, Fikile Maharaj, Jerico Zondi and Nompumelelo Msweli.

photo: Andile sitholeEmerging farmers from S’gedlane area create jobs for locals, (from left) Skhumbuzo Zondi, Fikile Maharaj, Jerico Zondi and Nompumelelo Msweli.

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HIGH levels of unemployment rates hitting rural communities and the lack of skills training in the grass levels, motivated a local community member from S’gedlane to start a vegetable garden to feed their families.

Sukuma Farming Project consists of elderly women and youth aged between 30 to 35.

Leader of the project Skhumbuzo Zondi said his rural community of S’gedlane are still trapped in the pit of poverty.

“We decided to start a farming project to help feed our local communities. Letcee assisted us in making our project a success. We are commercial emerging farmers. We plant cabbages, beans and sell the products to the community,” Zondi said.

The project was opened in February this year after the members attended the skills development programmes offered by the Department of Agriculture.

“Our members made an agreement with local supermarkets that we will be supplying them with our vegetabless. We also intend to sell our vegetables to the local shops and to our communities.

“We realised that the unemployment rate is high and majority of the people in this community are unemployed. That motivated us to start a community farming project.

“There are two creches within our community. Children go to school with empty stomachs and this is what the organisation intends to eliminate in our community.

Our plan is to provide these children with vegetables,” Zondi said.

However, financial constraints are a major challenge that the members of the organisation are facing.

“A Non-Profit Organisation, LETCEE always assist us with transport and provides us with other services,” Zondi said.

Working equipment and theft of vegetables at the garden is another challenge that this organisation has experienced in the past few months.

“Next month we will be harvesting beans and sell it to the shops.

In August we are planning to continue planting other vegetables such as potatoes. Water shortage is affecting our business. Our members have to fetch water using buckets from a water tap.

“Our main dream is to register our close company and secure another piece of land where we will be planning more vegetables,” Zondi added.

He urged the unemployed youth and graduates to create job opportunities in their communities.

“The youth should not wait for the government to create jobs for them.

They have skills and power to unlock the doors for the future. Let’s use our potential and skills to uplift our communities. Our organisation will employ people from this community to work in the project,” Zondi said.

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