Our Hosts: Ilembe District Mayor Cllr SS Gumede and Maphumulo Municipality Mayor Cllr, Z Khuzwayo-Dlamini, as well as Inkosi NA Bhengu;
Our Guest of Honour and Ilembe District Development Model (DDM) Champion, Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon. David Masondo;
Ilembe District OSS Champion, Human Settlement and Public Works MEC, Hon. NP Nkonyeni,
Agriculture and Rural Development MEC, Hon. BN Sithole-Moloi,
Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation MEC, Hon. H Mavimbela;
Former KZN Premier and Founder of Azibuye eMasisweni, Mr WT Mchunu
Chairperson of Enterprise Ilembe, Mr K. Shandu
CEO of Umgibe Organics, Ms N Joyce;
Senior Government Officials;
Leaders of Business, Labour, and Civil Society;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Thank you Programme Director for the opportunity to address the launch of the Ilembe District Municipality planting season here at Maphumulo Local Municipality.
During Food Security Month, on 23 October 2020, we launched the province-wide multi-planting season in the Harry Gwala District, at the Umzimkhulu Local Municipality.
Today we also wish to use this occasion to the shine a light on the importance of agriculture in food security, eradicating hunger, and economic development.
The rich and fertile soil of KwaZulu-Natal has a huge potential in leading our country in an agrarian revolution that will not only fuel inclusive economic development, sustain livelihoods, but that will also restore the dignity and pride of our vulnerable communities in our rural areas.
Through agriculture, we wish to empower women, the youth, and the disabled and bring them in the mainstream economy.
Honourable Minister Masondo, we are indeed honoured by your presence as DDM champion to realise for yourself the province’s strides to take advantage of the agricultural potential as mandated by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa in the State of the Nation Address.
Government’s Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2019-2024 has indicated that the country needs to put 1 million hectares to production. In this regard, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is expected to contribute significantly to the target due to geographical size and location.
The KwaZulu-Natal Province with a record of 18.6% (a reduction from 24% in 2016) as per the 2017 General Household Survey (GHS) by Statistics South Africa is amongst the provinces with the highest proportions of households that reported inadequate access to food above national average of 15.8%.
To respond to high levels of food insecurity, land
under-utilization and low productivity, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development adopted the planting season programme. Through the programme, the Department aims to provide support to KZN farmers, for an example in:
- Supply of production inputs (fertilizer, seed and chemicals).
- Provision of mechanization services assistance with marketing of produce especially through the Government-led Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation programme (RASET) and other outlets.
The planting season focuses more on the production of summer crops (maize and beans) and vegetable production in support of the RASET programme. It promotes the development of agricultural crop production.
We are aware, fellow compatriots, of the tough economic conditions that we are faced with as a country which is forcing government to reprioritise spending and cut down on budgets. As we do so, we have faith that we will continue to be able to show that ploughing in agriculture and enhancing its potential is a worthwhile investment.
Food is a lucrative business and a daily demand. Covid-19 has in fact increased local demand of agricultural products as the closure of our borders meant that we needed to produce more for ourselves. As a province, we have supported many of our small scale farmers to meet the new demand and we are committed to do so long after we have defeated this pandemic.
You will remember, Honourable Masond, that this district municipality is named after legendary Zulu King, uShaka ka Senzangakhona, iLembe eLeqa amanye amalembe ngokukhalipha.
Not far away from here, we have KwaDukuza which was one of his palaces. Linguists tell us that is another name for igeja or a hoe. Inkosi uShaka was praised as the sharpest hoe when they gave him the praises, “ Ilembe eleqa amanye amalembe ngokukhalipha”.
We want to say to the people of Maphumulo, KwaDukuza, and Ilembe District Municipality that we must live to the praises of uDlungwane ka Ndaba and make sure that we excel in farming the land and using agriculture to drive sustainable economic development.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the KwaZulu-Natal Government through the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has embarked on a programme to promote indigenous and organic methods of subsistence farming to reverse the adverse lifestyle diseases associated with consuming genetically modified and harmful chemically grown food.
We began our day by visiting the eMambedwini Tunnels Agricultural Co-Op which is a women led group
Here at Maphumulo Municipality. They use Hydroponic Tunnels for subsistence farming.
In the context of Ilembe District, the eMambedwini Tunnels Agricultural Co-operative is promoting organic farming and the consumption of organic food by communities. In addition, through organic farming, there is also the promotion of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and the subsequent promotion of healthy living, lifestyle and wellness.
Organic farming methods are also presenting viable option to the youth with respect to economic spin-offs.
The 2020 Ilembe District Multi-Planting Season Launch will facilitate the training of community agricultural co-operatives, thus establish 16 co-operatives that would champion the shift to this indigenous method of farming in the whole district.
The main objective of the launch is to signal the beginning of the summer planting season and encourage communities to engage in various planting activities.
In the context of ILembe district, the following are further objectives of the launch:
• Promote organic farming
• Promote Indigenous Knowledge Systems
• Promote the consumption of organic food by communities
• Promote healthy living, lifestyle and wellness.
• Present agriculture and organic farming as a viable option to the youth in terms of its economic spin offs.
• Empower the communities on the benefits and value of organics.
• Empower the traditional health practitioners on the preservation of their skills and knowledge through IKS and plant propagation methodologies.
• Train cooperatives on organic farming and establish the first sixteen (16) Co-ops that would champion the district shift to organic farming.
The Ilembe District, it is envisaged, will be the organic farming hub of the province because of the suitability of some of the commodities to farming in the District
Among these commodities include subtropical fruits such as mango and avocado, litchis, maize, beans and other vegetables.
Livestock farming including poultry has also been identified as one commodity suitable in the District.
The close proximity to the Dube Tradeport of the District also lends itself for the development of primary agro-processing industry for export purposes.
With an average yearly rainfall of 900mm, the Ilembe District is poised to achieve the overall objectives of Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation (RASET).
With assistance of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Mechanisation Programme, the four local municipalities are set to benefit with two tractors for each municipality to do land preparation, planting and application of herbicides and pesticides in communal land as well as land acquired through restitution and land reform.
The long-term objectives of the District’s Multi Planting Season is to see communal farms and agricultural co-operatives being able to enter mainstream economy markets especially export markets in the competitive high end Organic Food sector thus ensuring sustainable potential income dividends for subsistence agricultural co-operatives.
In turn, the District will be contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Compatriots, the budget allocation for the Multi Planting Season Programme has been affected by COVID-19 budget cuts from Ilima/Letsema and the conditional grant for ILembe is R3 520 000. ILembe District will be serviced through departmental tractors. A transversal contract has been used to procure the tractors.
• Here at Maphumulo Local Municipality, we have budgeted R1 091 200 for 155 hectares.
• At Ndwedwe, the budget is also R1 091 200 for 155 Ha.
• KwaDukuza, it is R 66 800 for 95 Ha.
• At Mandeni is also R 66 800 for 95 Ha.
• Combined together, in 2020/21,our annual target is to farm 500 hectares at R3 520 000.00
We will continue, Ladies and Gentlemen, to support Infrastructure Projects to promote agriculture.
Cooperatives producing vegetables for food security. The National School Nutrition Program has been supported with fencing and irrigation infrastructure.
In Maphumulo Local Municipality, the following projects have been supported: Jikijela Ubumbano Cluster (Thuthukani, Vukuzakhe, Inunu, Mbolombe, Zibuse, Ngangwini, Bhongela, Qedumona and Slindokuhle),
In Ndwedwe LM, we have supported these projects: Makhuluseni, Akhele, Injobi’thungelwa Ebandla, Dudula, Phakamani, Vovo, Dulela, Thokozisa and Vukuzakhe.
In Mandeni LM, Macambini cluster has been supported.
In KwaDukuza, Baro hydroponics was supported with production inputs and construction of tunnels.
We know from research that this area of Maphumulo is suitable for Sugarcane, Vegetables, Subtropical (Avocado & Mango) Fruits, Poultry, Field Crops (Maize, Beans, Taro, Sweet-Potatoes.
KwaDukuza is particularly suitable for Sugarcane, Vegetables, Subtropical (litchis) Fruits, Poultry, and Livestock.
Once again, we wish to encourage the farmers of Ilembe to consider getting into goat farming as this is a market that we have not fully taken advantage of despite the cultural importance of goats in many of our communities in KwaZulu-Natal and across the African continent. Goat meat is also very much in demand overseas.
To fully realise the commercial value of goat farming, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) is currently developing a goat farming value chain strategy. Among others, the strategy will support primary production and commercialisation of livestock farming among black rural producers. Government will continue to provide support of auctions of rural livestock to ensure that local farmers benefit.
Uma sengiphetha, siyawunxusa umphakathi wonke walapha eLembe District Municipality ukuthi asikhuthale, sibuyele emasimini, silime, siphile.
Asingabulawa yindlala sinomhlabathi ovundile esawushiyelwa okhokho. Asingathi abantu abanamsebenzi kepha umhlaba ube ufuna abantu abazowusebenza, ukhiqize, siphile.
Siyaninxusa futhi sizwe sakithi ukuthi asesekele bona kanye abalimi bendawo kunokuthi siye kude emadolobheni babe bekhona abalimi njengoba sibonile namuhla. Futhi okwabo ukudla kunomsoco, kunempilo, kutshalwa ngendlela yakudala ephephile angafaki ubuthi ekudleni.
Masibambisane, sivikele yonke lemisebenzi nezakhiwo esesifake imali kuyo siwuhulumeni. Uma kuba nezingxabano noma ukungaboni ngaso linye, asingacekeli impahla nezakhiwo phasi. Asingazigwazi ngowethu sizwe sakithi.
Siyawanxusa amakhosi ethu ukuthi asiqhubeke sibambisane, sihlawule, sixoshe ikati eziko, sivuke isizwe sibe nesithunzi. Kusezandleni zethu ukuthi nathi singamfuza uNodumehlezi ka Menzi sigcwalise igama elinomudla sibe yiLembe eleqa amanye amalembe ngokukhalipha emasimini .
Siyaninxusa futhi ukuthi niqhubeke njalo niqaphele ubhubhane lwe Covid-19 ngoba lesifo sisenathi., asikapheli. Masifake izimfonyo, sihlanzeke, sigweme izindawo ezinabantu abaningi.
Siwuhulumeni, siyanithemba futhi sizimisele ukubambisana nani sithuthukise izindawo zakithi zasemakhaya. Siyanxusa intsha ukuthi ayikhuthale ilime, yakhe amathuba emisebenzi sivuke isizwe ne Lembe baziqhenye ngathi.
Masiphephe ezingozini zezimoto, singashayeli sidle amanzi aponjwana noma ngesivinini. Isizwe sethu siyanidinga nonke ukuthi sakhe kabusha izwe lethu sibuyise nesithunzi sabadla imbuya ngothi.
Asingeqede magula kungathi siyemuka nina be Lembe!
Masisukume Sakhe iKwaZulu-Natali.
Together Growing KwaZulu-Natal!
I thank you!