The provincial government continues to encourage communities, especially in the Mkhanyakude District to explore opportunities that are provided by agriculture.
This morning, in our role as the Political Champion of the Mkhanyakude District under Operation Sukuma, we officially launched the Multi Planting Season programme for the District.
This programme is aimed at promoting food security in our communities and for the exploration of opportunities that agriculture provides.
Through the programme, small-scale farmers and cooperatives benefit from government assistance in the form of the provision of specialised equipment and seeds in their respective communal gardens.
Over 1600 people are benefiting from this programme in the District.
As part of the launch, we visited communal gardens in Nkundusi under the Mtubatuba Local Municipality where we saw first-hand the work being done by local cooperatives to farm fresh produce aimed at various markets.
During this visit, we were heartened by the commitment shown by the community to work closely with the government to expand their farming project and ensure that it runs smoothly. One of the key challenges faced by these cooperatives is the shortage of farming equipment and a proper irrigation scheme, this is something that we are committed to working closely with sister departments to address.
We also visited the Zamimpili Craft and fresh produce market where we had fruitful discussions with the operators or the various stalls.
Key amongst the discussions was the plea for the craft market building to be revamped as it is now leaking.
As a provincial government, we are committed to ensuring that this craft market continues to be a success as it has easy access to travellers who are using the N2 and provides a direct market for small-scale farmers.
We have committed ourselves to work closely with other departments to ensure that the craft market gets all the attention that it needs.
Our final stop for the day was the community meeting at Nkundusi Community Hall where we engaged with residents on the importance of working the land, especially in the context of increases in the cost of living.
To this end, we handed over farming implements to the various cooperatives operating in the community.
Issued by the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sihle Zikalala