District municipality boosts local agriculture

Cllr Milton Morema, MMC for LED, Tourism and Rural Development addressing the youth at the Mzinti Community Hall.

STEENBOK – The Ehlanzeni District Municipality donated feeders, brooder lamps, work outfits, fire extinguishers and first-aid kits to help Siyavuya Cooperative LTD with in its poultry houses.

The farm currently has 13 of them where around 45 000 birds can be accommodated and produces various season crops according to market demand.

The Siyavuya Cooperative was formed to help reduce poverty, create job opportunities and prevent crime in the Steenbok community, which is located on the Mozambican border.

The Women and Agricultural Farming Primary Cooperative in Matsulu received, among others, a fertigation system and pump, electric motor, work wear and a fire extinguisher.

The women and youth initiative produces vegetables on 4,2 hectares and is supported by hawkers from Mozambique and Swaziland, as well as locally. They hope to introduce climate-controlled hydroponics over the entire farm in time.

READ: Woman talks about her passion for agriculture

Cllr Milton Morema handed over the equipment to the grateful recipients and said the district municipality’s initiative was aimed at helping cooperatives work effectively, which in turn helps grow the economy. He continued by saying “we need people with expertise in different fields”, and lauded them for having young people that are studying agriculture and will hopefully return to implement what they have learned.

On February 28, youth were encouraged to enter the agricultural sector at an awareness campaign in the Mzinti Community Hall.

Young farmers, agricultural graduates and unemployed youth were invited to attend.

Nontobeko Mhlalala, the manager of Local Economic Development (LED), Tourism and Rural Development, stated that the aim was to change the negative perceptions of the sector such as farmers are uneducated, physical laborours with extremely low economic returns.

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She explained that the sector offers career opportunities in research, environment, financial management, engineering and other technical areas.

During the presentations by various local and national stakeholders, RCL Foods mentioned that there was a shortage of young people interested in studying agricultural science on a tertiary level, because many people think jobs in the sector just consist of farming.

MMC for LED, Tourism and Rural Development, MJ Morema encouraged the attendees to explore the opportunities and learn more about agriculture as it helps create jobs, especially in rural areas. It also ensures that land is put to good use and benefits the community. He urged them to “form cooperatives and start by working hard so you can be the giants of your own companies in future.”

  AUTHOR
Retha Nel

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