25 February 2004

South Africa: Makhaye Launches Water Irrigation Scheme

Durban — KwaZulu-Natal Agriculture and Environmental Affairs MEC Dumisani Makhaye has launched a water irrigation scheme for the community of amaDungeni in Highflats, on the province's south coast.

Mr Makhaye handed over a cheque of R500 000 to emaDungeni Agricultural Forum that is involved in agricultural projects like community gardens.

This money will be used to develop the emaDungeni irrigation scheme that will help farmers to irrigate their fields all season.

Addressing the community yesterday, Mr Makhaye said farmers in the area would no longer be seasonal farmers due to the lack of water to irrigate their fields.

"As from today there will be continuity in farming in this area. The money will also be used to buy farming implements such as hoes, forks, wheel- burrows and rakes," he said.

This project is expected to yield about 180 job opportunities, which is something highly needed in this community.

"This is one project that tackles the underlying symptoms of poverty which is lack of food and unemployment," said Mr Makhaye.

The visit to emaDungeni is the part of department's programme to launch poverty alleviation projects in the province.

Similar projects have been launched in Babanango, Ntunjambili, Emfithi, Makhabeleni and Sisonke, north of the province.

Mr Makhaye appealed to the community look beyond just subsistence farming.

"I am appealing to you to farm not only with an intention of consuming for yourselves but also with an intention of selling and making profit.

"From the project we are launching today we must grow vegetables that can be sold to schools, clinics and hospitals. Our department's extension services will always be available to assist you with necessary information to improve your farming," he said.

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