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Nkwinti hands over Eastern Cape dairy to community

Jeff Every and Babule Hlangani took Nkwinti on a tour of the dairy parlour during the handing over ceremony. Photo: DRDLR

Jeff Every and Babule Hlangani took Nkwinti on a tour of the dairy parlour during the handing over ceremony. Photo: DRDLR

Published Jul 23, 2016

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Port St Johns – Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti has handed over a state-of-the-art "dairy parlour" to the community of Mantusini near Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape under the one-household, one-hectare programme.

About 400 households, the owners of the land on which the project operates, will benefit from the programme, the rural development and land reform department said in a statement on Saturday.

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This initiative was 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, it said.

"This is an extension of the one-household, one-hectare programme through which households are allocated a one hectare portion of land for the production of crops. In addition to the dairy at Mantusini the department is giving each household two dairy cattle which will contribute to the production of dairy products."

Addressing the community during the handover, Nkwinti said "this dairy parlour is yours, you will look after it, and it will nourish you”.

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The chairman of the Mantusi Dairy Trust, representing the community, Bubele Hlangani said he was happy to see his dream realised. “We are happy to see this dairy parlour opened today and we are confident our community will truly benefit and prosper.”

The project was initiated in 2005 by Nkwinti when he served as Eastern Cape agriculture MEC. It took off in earnest in 2011 when the department and its partners injected much needed support into the project.

The dairy parlour was constructed by the department in partnership with the provincial agriculture department and other stakeholders. More than R18 million had been invested in the project so far.

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In addition to this, an access road was under construction, "de-bushing" was being carried out to expand the fields for crop production, and some of the machinery that had been vandalised was being repaired.

The department’s one-household, one-hectare programme aimed to eradicate poverty and create a class of black smallholder farmers, producers, and agro-manufacturers. The programme targeted state-owned land, and what could at best be described as traditional communal land. Beneficiaries planted and produced vegetables on state allocated hectares of land to restore food security, the department said.

African News Agency

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