Planting season has been rolled out in KwaZulu-Natal with the announcement that 3500 hectares of land has been earmarked for farming vegetables.
This is in the Harry Gwala District Municipality.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sipho Hlomuka, the MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Bongi Sithole Moloi, together with the Harry Gwala District mayor, Zamo Nxumalo and Bathobile Ngubo, the mayor of uBuhlebezwe Municipality officially rolled out the planting season programme on Tuesday.
Communities interested in farming were provided with support. The 3500 hectares of land will be used for farming vegetables. Millions of seedlings and farming equipment which included tractors were also given to the communities.
“The support that government is bringing is to ensure that our communities have food security. We must not turn our backs on working the land,” said Hlomuka in a statement released by the Harry Gwala District.
“Many of us grew up planting in our homes, let us continue with that good culture so that we have our own food, and we can take care of our families.”
MEC Sithole-Moloi called on the youth to look at the sector as a possible career. “We all have to eat, no one can survive without food, young people of Harry Gwala District are blessed with vast amounts of land which need to be worked on. Lacking knowledge in the agricultural sector leaves many communities unable to derive income which is important,” said Sithole-Moloi.
“I encourage our people in rural communities to consider cultivation of land and livestock to be central pillars of their lives.”
Nxumalo said they were excited as the district about the programme and experienced good rain. He also expressed his happiness with the significant increase in the number of people who are turning to farming from the eMadungeni community and appealed to the youth and women in particular, to follow suit.
One of the beneficiaries Mkhipheni Memela (65), from Atlas Co-operative, based at Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Municipality, said he was grateful for the support from government.
As part of the programme launch, the MEC and mayors handed over farming implements to the different cooperatives.