KZN MEC FOR AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, MR THEMBA MTHEMBU’S SPEECH ATMASSSIVE FOOD AND NUTRITION MULTI-SEASON PLANTING LAUNCH

Isambane News 17493216_1113523172127208_8494493923430241222_o-300x200 KZN MEC FOR AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, MR THEMBA MTHEMBU’S SPEECH ATMASSSIVE FOOD AND NUTRITION MULTI-SEASON PLANTING LAUNCH  Isambane

VENUE: UMZINYATHI DISTRICT, NQUTHU LOCAL
MANXILI WARD 1
DATE: 24 MARCH 2017
The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Mr T.W Mchunu
Amakhosi from Nquthu Municipality
All other traditional leaders present
Chairperson of Agriculture and Rural Development Mrs N.Simelane-Zulu
Members of the DARD portfolio committee
Leaders of different political parties
KZNWARD
KZNYARD
Farmer associations from Umzinyathi District Municipality
OSS members from Umzinyathi
Officials
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Today, I stand here to present to you what Government has termed radical socio economic transformation.
During the state of the Nation address, President Jacob Zuma clearly elaborated on what this approach of radical socio-economic transformation entails, he said, “ it means fundamental change in the structure, systems, institute
ns and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female. As government we are united in building a South Africa that is free from from the thriple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, as clearly guided by the National Development Plan (NDP)
Our commitment to changing the lives of the poor and vulnerable requires us to reposition ourselves. We cannot tolerate the cries of our people who have not enjoyed the gains of democracy almost 23 years on.
It was Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo who said, “The objective of our struggle in South Africa, as set out in the Freedom Charter, encompasses economic emancipation. It is inconceivable for liberation to have meaning without a return of the wealth of the country to the people as a whole.”
I qoute Comrade Tambo as this year would have been his 100th birthday, had he been alive.
Bantu Bakithi:
We are here to launch the “Massive Food and nutrition multi planting season programme”. We are letting lose the breaks on service delivery to better service our people. Our obligation as the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is clearly outlined as a part of Governments Nine Point Plan to boost the economy and create viable jobs. Further, Agriculture has been identified to be the most critical pillar in the Kwazulu-Natal Poverty Eradication Master Plan. We have in the past months reformed our Departmental strategy to effectively respond to your needs.
As Government we are aware of the disperity the people of Umzinyathi are under, We are aware that this district municipality is amoung the poorest in the country with many people surviving on just R13.00 a day.
We are here to emmit change to this situation through the Agricultural programmes we are launching today.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are revitalising the Juncao Mushroom Project, in Ward 1 at the Manxili Clinic, the first such project in this country. The Juncoa mushroom is a source of textured vegetable protein (TVP) meaning it can provide protein nutrients equivalent to meat sources. The nature of this mushroom allows it to be able to produce high yields at a short time span, it is anticipated that it will be able to create a sustainable Juncao Mushroom industry throughout the province that will benefit the poor particularly the most vulnerable being women and children.
This should be of particular interest to residents of Nquthu as over 60% of the households in this municipality are female headed, and a further 53.3% of the young people are unemployed. 20 beneficiaries within this group have already been identified by local stakeholders to partcipate and benefit from the The Juncao Mushroom project. The beneficiaries are currently undergoing training in management to ensure the programme becomes a viable and sustainable project for the municipality. We have identified and earmarked a further 48 Mushroom sites in the entire province.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has developed a Goat Master Plan, in line with the goals set out by the Poverty Eradication Masterplan of the province. The Goats masterplan views goats as key to economic growth and localisation of the niche market in the rural areas of this province. Already 133 families benifitted from this programme in Umzinyathi. Today we have officialy opened up a Goat Dip Tank in Ward 1 endaweni yenkosi uSithole. This dip tank will assist goat farmers by preventing tick infestations and control ecto and endo- parasites that are the cause of the high motality rate in goats and kids. In Nquthu alone 42 members of Cooperatives have been trained on goat management and sustainable agri-business. 15 families will receive 5 ewes and 1 ram, with the agreement that they will return the first off-spring to the department. the rational behind this initiative is to improve the productivity of well managed herds and create a goat value chain which will increase goat herds for local and regional markets. Yet again, key to this project is the development of women and young people as we are focused on building and promoting an inclusive economy . We want to produce 1 million goats per annum, which we believe will make good business sense
The Department has built 2 small goat sheds, also in the area yeNkosi uSithole, these structures will further assist goat farmers in handling the mortality rate in kids.
We are all aware of the importance of water to our livelihood and agriculture, the extreme devastation and impact left behind by the draught of 2015/2016 is evident in all spheres of the agricultural sector. Lack of water has the potential to stifile the gains made in the industry, as a province we have survived and are on our way to recovery. We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that our people do not have water licences, it saddens us even further that many face stringent red tape to access these licences. As the department we are rigorously persuing a strategy to ensure that water licences are given with a biase to the majority of this country and not just the rich and those with land. Today, 10 families will receive water tanks to allow for water Harvesting, we are committed to providing nothing less then 3000 tanks by September.
As already alluded to earlier, many individuals in KwaZulu Natal do not have access to sufficient food. In 2015 Stats SA recorded that 3. 538 218 million (34%) people did not have adequate food. These levels of poverty are too high in relation to our National Development Plan (NDP) targets for 2030. I find these numbers particularly disturbing considering, that Section 27 of the Constituion clearly states that every individual has the right to food and water, and not just that, but sufficient food and water.
These poor people specifically in the rural KZN are dependent on staple foods such as maize or rice to fill-up their stomachs but these foods do not provide them with enough vitamins and minerals for good health, leading to mulnutrition. Nutritious foods are often expensive or locally unavailable. A Strategic Planning Session held at Didima at the end of 2016 prioritised food and nutrition security as a programme. The Department has adopted the biofortified strategy, which is the development of high nutrients density staple crops, containing higher amounts of vitamin A, iron, and zinc. , the role of the Department is to provide farmers with relevant and diverse commodities comprising of field crops, vegetables, fruit trees, indigenous crops, as well as livestock. The Department will provide a detailed base plan which will include a detailed production plan. Further the Department will work with other Departments to promote intesectoral collaboration to ensure progress is assesed prior and after the interventions.
As a Department our ultimate goal is to see one home with one Garden, One household with one fruit tree, we want each Ward to have one Mushroom project, one household with 10 indigenous Chickens, hens and a rooster. We want to see each household have 6 goats, five ewe and one Ram. One household needs to have one Water tank and each community must have one garden and one fence.
We are coherently insuring that we form a vital part of Governments Intergrated framework ‘Fetsa Tlala’ that seeks to promote food and nutrition security to address structural causes of food insecurity, which continue to perpetuate inequality and social exclusion.
We hope that you as the community of Nquthu and Umzinyathi District municipality as a whole will avail yourselves to work with us towards “Making Agriculture our Culture. “as our Departmental slogan pronounces.
With this I hand over to the Premier Mr T.W Mchunu, for the key Note Address.
Photo 1 KZN Premier Mr Willies Mchunu together with KZN MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr Themba Mthembu and Inkosi Sithole visiting a mushroom garden at Kwa-Manxiki Community outside Nquthu .
Photo 2 KZN Premier Mr Willies Mchunu together with KZN MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr Themba Mthembu and Inkosi Sithole visiting a mushroom garden at Kwa-Manxiki Community outside Nquthu .
Photo 3 KZN Premier Mr Willies Mchunu together with KZN MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr Themba Mthembu visiting a goat pen built by the department for Ntombela Households .
Photo 4 KZN Premier Mr Willies Mchunu together with KZN MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr Themba Mthembu visiting a goat pen built by the department for Ntombela Households .
Photo 5 KZN Premier Mr Willies Mchunu together with KZN MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr Themba Mthembu handing over 5 Goats to Xolani Mkhwanazi on the wheelchair .
Photo 6 KZN Premier Mr Willies Mchunu together with KZN MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr Themba Mthembu handing over farming input to the community members of Kwa-Manxiki Community outside Nquthu .
Photos by Mbuyiselo Ndlovu

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