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Supporting communities Co-ops and emerging farmers

Supporting communities Co-ops and emerging farmers

The climate change, agriculture and food security programme, sponsored by the Embassy of Ireland began in 2015 with the aim to build the resilience of communities to plan for and cope with the increased vulnerability, risks and uncertainties associated with the present day stresses and shocks such as crop failure.

Commercial farming in South Africa, particularly in the deep rural areas is a highly complex and sophisticated business. Given the technological revolution in farming, even emerging farmers now have to be well-equipped in order to become the commercial producers of the future.

Ikusasa is currently implementing the project in the KwaZulu-Natal province targeting cooperatives that are already existing in the communities, co-ops that are dedicated to agricultural projects, including livestock farming of goats, cattle and chickens, crop farming of potatoes etc. These co-ops are all located around KwaZulu-Natal in areas such as uMsinga, Kwanokweja, Matimatolo, Richmond and uMlazi.

Ikusasa provides technical support and agricultural inputs. Some examples include the distribution of more than 20 000 seedlings of various vegetables and garden tools. In ensuring food security, our programme with the co-ops has reached more than 5000 community members across the province.

The most recent co-op received a chicken egg incubator at Kwanokweja which is part of the agriculture and food security programme and will ensure that the community members will be able to incubate their eggs to produce chicks for selling and for eating, thus ensuring economic empowerment and food security in the community. Speaking on behalf of the community a traditional leader of Kwanokweja Mr Msekeli  Zulu said that the community as a whole will benefit from the incubator as it will be shared amongst members of the co-operatives. “this will assist us to grow our chickens so we can sell them for money and feed our families”, we are very pleased for the opportunity presented to us by the Ikusasa division and we will make sure that members of the community are encouraged to make money through growing chickens, he said.