About 400 households in Mantusini, near Port St Johns, will benefit from a state-of-the-art dairy parlour handed over by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform said the initiative is an extension of the One Household-One Hectare programme, through which households are allocated a one hectare portion of land to produce crops.
It is also part of the department’s Strategy on Rural Agrarian Economic Transformation aimed at poverty alleviation, job creation and the creation of sustainable community-owned enterprises.
Targeting state-owned, traditional communal land, the aim is to create a class of black smallholder farmers, producers and agro-manufacturers.
Beneficiaries can plant and produce vegetables on state-allocated hectares of land and the harvest is reaped to restore food security.
Each household will also receive two dairy cattle which will contribute to the production of dairy products. The cattle will help to sustain the dairy parlour.
Addressing the community during the handover of the parlour and cattle, the Minister said the parlour belongs to the households and it is their responsibility to look after it as it will nourish them.
Mantusi Dairy Chairperson Bubele Hlangani expressed joy on behalf of the community.
“We are happy to see this dairy parlour opened today, and we are confident our community will truly benefit and prosper,” said Hlangani.
The project was initiated in 2005 by Minister Nkwinti while he was serving as MEC of Agriculture in the Eastern Cape. It took off in earnest in 2011 when the department, together with its partners, provided the necessary support for the project.
The dairy parlour has been constructed by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in partnership with the provincial Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders.
An investment of more than R18 million has been made into the project thus far.
An access road is also under construction and de-bushing to expand the fields for crop production is taking place, while some of the machinery that had been vandalized is being repaired. – SAnews.gov.za
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