Durban - Largely rural, the Zululand district municipality says the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the prestigious University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) will help to uplift black farmers and ensure food security in the semi-arid region.
The northern KZN municipality’s mayor, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, said the MoU will also see them sending students to the university to study in agriculture in order to ensure that there is a constant supply of young farmers to the sector.
The programme will kick off immediately and while presenting his municipal governance report at the Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) conference in Ulundi on Sunday as the party rules the district, Buthelezi hailed it as a game-changer.
He said amongst other outcomes, the cooperation and the collaboration of both parties aims to utilise existing agricultural infrastructure, farming resources and materials for the benefit of the intended beneficiaries of rural development programmes in the district.
“The MoU also intends to engage in the exchange of scientific and technical information and the promotion and exchange of materials and staff for short-term visits of farming and academic nature. All these projects will contribute positively to agriculture, food security and rural development within the district,” Buthelezi said.
Buthelezi said the first phase of the will kick in this September when the farming season begins for most parts of the country.
The programme will benefit 300 black emerging farmers from the district and as part of the MoU it will from next year, send five students to the university to study advanced and modern agriculture.