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E4M TURNOVER FOR NTFONJENI CLIMATE SMART FARMERS

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PIGG’S PEAK – They used to  get meagre harvest from their hectares of land but now farmers in Ntfonjeni stand a chance of generating over E4 million in turnover.


Thanks to foreign markets as far as Switzerland and Norway through the National Agricultural Marketing Board. 
Through the Climate Smart- Market-oriented Agriculture(CSMA) project, the farmers have formed an organisation which owns 23 hectares of land.


According to the Project Manager, Bheki Ginindza, CSMA is assisting the residents who have grouped together to form an organisation known as the Mavulandlela Farmers Irrigation Scheme.


benefitting


Ginindza said the scheme had about 27 members who were now benefitting through NAMBoard, which has also  guaranteed an  overseas market.
He revealed this during the tour of agricultural projects by the Minister of Agriculture, Jabulani ‘Buy Cash’ Mabuza.


Ginindza said in the past, each farm would generate a maximum of   E15 000 per year but that this would now be a thing of the past.
He said some of the crops they were growing included sweet potatoes, pumpkin,  as well as baby vegetables which were usually meant for high end markets.


planted


Ginindza said since the farmers were using smart agriculture, they had also planted fruit trees such as mangoes, litchis and avocados. He further revealed that CSMA had another project around Velezizweni under Ngwempisi Inkhundla. Some of the residents, however, expressed concern that the only challenge they were having was the  shortage of water and that the project did not have proper fencing.


They addressed this concern with the  minister, who was touring the area at the time.
In response, the minister urged that through the local Member of Parliament (MP), Mthandeni Dube, they could acquire fencing material as well as get a water project going through the Land Management Board. Dube was also present during the tour. Mabuza also visited a fruit pack, which will be used to store produce from the surrounding communities.The fruit pack is situated at Msahweni near Matsamo.


collaboration


It is under NAMBoard and was funded through the European Union (EU) in collaboration with the Eswatini Water and Agricultural Development Enteprise (SWADE).  He further visited a place know as Gesawu where he was shown compost organic beds at a greenhouse. The minister said this meant that the seedlings would be closer to the communities.
He further said the vicinity of the fruit house meant that the farmers would not have to travel far.

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