Available at GCIS provincial offices, GCIS district offices & Thusong centres in your area!

Grow your own food and save money

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

A gardener in KwaZulu-Natal has proven to be a smart businessman, selling his home-grown produce to put money in is his pocket. This is thanks to the One Home, One Garden and Fruit Tree programme aimed for KwaZulu-Natal residents. 

Muziwakhe Nsele (42) is a popular man in Hlathini, a village near Melmoth where he lives and sells vegetables such as beans, cabbage and potatoes.

Nsele’s business grew in leaps and bounds following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), with people buying from him rather than travelling to the shops.Muziwakhe Nsele is becoming a successful businessman, thanks to his vegetable garden.

With his profit, Nsele has bought six goats and plans to expand his agriculture business. “I will also be investing in layers and broiler chickens to expand my income streams through the sale of eggs and whole chickens,” Nsele says.

The father of six says his business received a boost from the One Home, One Garden and Fruit Tree programme run by the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD). 

The programme encourages people to start gardening at their homes as a means of fighting poverty and Nsele received seeds, fertiliser and advice from DARD.

DARD MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi says the One Home, One Garden and Fruit Tree programme assists families that are suffering because of COVID-19.

She says: “The programme remains a crucial seed for a sustainable rural economy and with specific interventions and support from DARD, it can reduce and eliminate poverty through subsistence farming.”  

To be part of the programme, visit the office of DARD at your local municipality. The contact details of the DARD offices can be found on the department’s website www.kzndard.gov.za. Alternatively, call the department at 033 355 9100.

Tips on how to start a garden:

  • Make sure you know which plants your soil will support.
  • Ready your garden by first ploughing the land more than once without planting.
  • Add fertiliser.
  •  Remove all weeds.