Land care project creates jobs for the locals
12 May 2011
An Invasive Alien Weed land care project in Mtubatuba will create job opportunities for the locals and resuscitate a communal grazing area. This was unveiled by the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development during the Myeki Project launch at Somkhele sports grounds in Mtubatuba today, 12 May 2011.
The project is clearing invasive alien weed in order to avail land for grazing purposes. The total targeted area is 372 hectares of land and the project will run for 3 years from 2011/12 to 2013/14. It will create about 80 job opportunities for local people of which 60% of the employed will be women and 20 percent will be the youth. The department will further install 4 kilometres fence for the boundary.
The project will present empowerment opportunities for the locals because it will not only just end with employment but there will be a skills transfer programme. Project beneficiaries will also be trained on life skills and project based training such as:
- Project management
- Alien weed control and management
- First aid
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development said that the project will also benefit the agricultural sector most particularly the livestock sector. The department has a new programme to enhance the livestock profile of the province.
She highlighted examples of how invasive alien plants impact on our environment and agricultural activities.
- When we lose grazing lands for livestock – We will have to use more supplementary feed for the livestock and thus high costs in livestock farming, increased poverty.
- When our cattle eat harmful alien plants, the meat quality is compromised, thus we get less returns from selling such meat.
- Poisoning of livestock – we will have to purchase medicine for the care of the livestock and thus livestock farming costs going up, some of the livestock may die after eating the poisonous alien plants.
- When we lose the potentially productive agricultural land and conservation land - there will be a reduction in the land value.
- When there is less water – there will be reduction to agricultural yields, resulting in high food prices, resulting in increased poverty.
MEC Johnson thanked all the community members who are involved in the project for their role in safeguarding the environment.
Tel: 033 343 8063
Cell: 079 515 7187
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Agriculture, Enviromental Affairs and Rural Development
12 May 2011
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