The Greater Kokstad Municipality Mayor, Councillor, MNL Madikizela has emphatically stressed that this year’s planting season theme of going back to ploughing was literally comparative to printing your own money and a firm fight against poverty.
Madikizela outlined this during the launch of the planting season held at the Thuthuka Ngele rural village in Kokstad recently spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in KwaZulu-Natal.
This was an initiative by the KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube- Ncube wherein all the departments were expected to go all out in rolling out the programme to promote agriculture especially as the country is faced with an economic downturn.
Moreover, the programme also promotes food security and moral regeneration in that it encourages citizens to go back to ploughing and to minimise communities from buying vegetables from supermarkets while there is land lying fallow that they can use to produce what they need.
The Department’s theme for this year is: “planting your own food is like printing your own money”.
This is a programme that will benefit almost 1000 targeted people. About 3100 hectares of land has been donated by the Greater Kokstad Municipality to communities of the area mainly for ploughing. Maize and dry beans are expected to be planted in the fields.
The MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison in KwaZulu-Natal Sipho Hlomuka, rolled out the Multi-Planting Season Programme and Transport Month Programme within the Harry Gwala District.
During his visit to the Harry Gwala District, MEC Hlomuka conducted a multi-disciplinary law enforcement operation on the N2 Westland at the Greater Kokstad Local Municipality. He was joined by Harry Gwala District Mayor Zamo Nxumalo and Greater Kokstad Mayor Madikizela. The Multi-Planting also sought to support small scale farmers and communities to improve food security and ward off hunger and the programme was used to showcase new planting technologies to the Thuthuka Ngele Agricultural Cooperative.
In addition, this programme assisted farmers with tractor services in ploughing and planting and provision of agricultural inputs to indigent farmers in order to promote crop production as a catalyst for economic development, job creation and poverty alleviation in communal land within the district. Nxumalo speaking at the event said it was necessary that every home has a garden and that the community members be involved in this initiative.
“We shouldn’t have to buy everything, we should get it from our own gardens, let us work towards making agriculture fashionable and a way of living,” said Nxumalo.
MEC Sipho Hlomuka in his capacity as a political champion deployed in the Harry Gwala District said residents should not sleep on the land they have but should work it.