In a quest to create sustainable job opportunities and increased access to sufficient and nutritious food, particularly among the rural communities, last Friday, 07 August 2020, MEC Desbo Mohono of North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development handed over to the beneficiaries in the rural district municipality of Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati, two agricultural projects.
The two (2) projects were Tshepanang Poultry Trust Project and Thota ya Tau Fish Harvest Primary Co-operative.
Tshepanang Poultry Trust Project is a Vryburg based establishment specialising with chickens for production of meat and eggs for food. The company was established in 2006 and currently has fourteen (14) active members.
It was initiated by members of the community in an effort to enhance and improve productivity of various agricultural commodities. The department in turn through its farmer support programme, provided infrastructure funding and capacity building programmes for the beneficiaries.
The project was funded during the 2019/2020 financial year with an amount of over six hundred thousand (R600, 000.00) to build a fully fleshed 5000 broiler unit and water storage. Through government aid, the project is now producing 3000 -5000 chickens per cycle and selling their produce to the community and local businesses.
The second project handed over on the day was Thota ya Tau Fish Harvest Primary Co-operative. This is a Taung based aquaculture establishment. The project started in 2015 and currently has ten (10) members.
It was funded with over a million rand through Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) during the 2018/19 financial year to continue harvesting fish and selling it to the local markets. Through the funding, the department constructed 2ha security fence for the project, built ablution facilities with septic tank, purchased a vehicle for the project, and constructed an office as well as tanks for water storage.
When handing over these projects, MEC Desbo Mohono said her department has a constitutional responsibility to use public funds to respond to the needs of the people by supporting them, especially rural communities and co-operatives, to produce their own income through agriculture.
"Handing over of these projects will also add to existing opportunities in the sector and will also ensure that the beneficiaries are financially independent and self-sustained.
"I have high expectations that the beneficiaries will continue to maintain these projects at high standards and that the yield of quality agricultural products will grow steadily thus improving their livelihood and that of the communities.
"There will be challenges here and there but it is important that people continues to work hard to produce food and to sell to the markets. Those who can't produce will buy from producers so that our province can grow," expressed MEC Desbo Mohono
Kelesitse Beauty Baatege of Tshepanang Poultry Trust and Tebogo Matlonoko of Thota ya Tau Fish Harvest Primary Co-operative thanked MEC Mohono and the entire Department of Agriculture and Rural Development' team for ensuring that the project get completed.
The handing over of these projects is part of the support that the department is giving to farmers to enable them to farm optimally and sustainably which will translate into the improvement of the livelihoods of the farmers and surrounding communities.
The department has been engaged with the rolling-out of infrastructural development, the purchasing of implements and machinery, production inputs, and farmer support for smallholder farmers across the province.