About 400 households in Mantusini, near Port St Johns, will benefit from a state-of-the-art dairy parlour. The parlour was handed over by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti.
This forms part of the department’s One Household-One Hectare programme, through which households are allocated a one hectare portion of land to produce crops.
The programme is also aimed at eradicating poverty and creating smallholder farmers, producers and agro-manufacturers. The programme targets state-owned and traditional communal land. Beneficiaries plant and produce vegetables on state allocated hectares of land and the harvest is reaped to restore food security.
Beneficiaries can plant and produce vegetables on state-allocated hectares of land and the harvest is reaped to restore food security. Each household will also receive two dairy cattle, which will contribute to the production of dairy products. The cattle will help to sustain the dairy parlour.
The project was started in 2005 by Minister Nkwinti while he was serving as MEC of Agriculture in the Eastern Cape. It took off in earnest in 2011 when the department, together with its partners, provided the necessary support for the project.
The dairy parlour was built by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in partnership with the provincial Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders. An investment of more than R18 million has been made into the project thus far.
Addressing the community during the handover of the parlour and cattle, the Minister said the parlour belongs to the households and it is their responsibility to look after it as it will nourish them.
Mantusi Dairy Chairperson Bubele Hlangani expressed joy on behalf of the community. “We are happy to see this dairy parlour opened, and we are confident our community will truly benefit and prosper,” said Hlangani.
An access road is also under construction and de-bushing to expand the fields for crop production is taking place, while some of the machinery that had been vandalised is being repaired.