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Emerging farmers get a boost

Emerging farmers in the Eastern Cape will soon gain access to the potato farming sector.

This is thanks to an agreement between McCain Food SA and the provincial Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform.

Nokwakha Gwanisheni is a member of Amabosi Cooperative which is part of Mbizana Potato Growers.

She joined the potato-farming cooperative in 1997 and over the years the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform has helped them to order good quality seeds.

Since its inception, the Amabosi Cooperative has grown from seven members to 37.

“We have two hectares in total and we produce up to 1 500 tons per season. We are very excited. We are being trained and we now know our land can produce much more,” said Gwanisheni.

Gwanisheni said potato farming has been the main source of income for her family, through which she managed to pay for her daughter’s education.

Potatoes SA has also helped Mbizana Potato Growers with machines and tractors to plough.

Siseko Vikilahle from a Mthatha-based cooperative said the opportunity from McCain would be a game changer.

“It comes at a time when we really need support from the market, especially when it comes to potatoes. This opportunity is going to open the way. We are very grateful,” said Vikilahle.

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