Boost for Umbumbulu development projects

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pretoria - Umbumbulu community will now have easy access to services on their development projects, thanks to a R5million Agricultural Office opened on Saturday by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development.

The state-of-the-art construction, to be used as the department's satellite office, will ensure that the community of Umbumbulu and surrounding areas participate in programmes including food security campaigns, such as the One Home One Garden and massification projects. 

Celebrating the opening the office at an event held in Mpandwini sports ground, outside Durban, the department's MEC Lydia Johnson said the office gives support through on-going training sessions and demonstrations on crop production, livestock production and value adding. 

"It also conducts regular consultations with farmers and farmer structures to capacitate them and give an update on departmental programmes," Johnson explained.

She also urged the community leaders to ensure that people work closely with the department and seize empowerment opportunities that have been brought close to them through the local office. 

"I trust that it becomes a beacon of hope for all communal farmers here and should therefore be utilised to yield positive outcomes for farming in this area. I know that most community members here embrace agricultural activities," she said.

She added that the construction of the office was a response by the department to the Batho Pele principles, which aim to build a better life for all South Africans.

The office, which is responsible for rendering agricultural services in 52 wards both in rural and urban areas, serves communities under 10 Amakhosi. 

It has the necessary required tools including laptops, boardrooms and office furniture for officials to be able to work efficiently. 

It has 28 extension staff and supports 210 community development projects, and further drives the departmental programmes like mechanisation, food security, livestock and mushroom. - BuaNews