CHDM farmers off to Argentina to learn

AGRICULTURAL MATTERS: Integrated Programme and Economic Development portfolio head, Sibongile Mbotshane, addressing agricultural stakeholders at the Indoor Sports Complex in Ngcobo Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

Chris Hani District Municipality plans to take local farmers abroad in 2020 for training in the no-till system at the University of Cordoba in Argentina.

This follows the municipality’s partnership with Argentina in the Rural agro-industries Financial Initiative (Rafi).

This was said by Integrated Programme and Economic Development portfolio head, Sibongile Mbotshane, at the Land and Agricultural Summit, which took place on Thursday and Friday at the Indoor Sports Centre in Ngcobo.

Mbotshane said during a visit by CHDM officials to Argentina in 2017, a bilateral agreement was signed with the province of Cordoba and Cordoba University.

We signed an agreement that students from the district will be sent to study the no-till system to implement it in Chris Hani.

We have bursary funding in the municipality which we plan to divert towards the programme.

We will take locals who have agricultural certificates to further their studies.

Education is free of charge at the university, but the numbers of students will be determined by the cost involved in travelling and accommodation.

We will issue an advert for people who are interested to apply,” he said.

The summit sought to develop strategies and effective ways of achieving agricultural sustainability in the district’s farming community.

The two-day summit was held in partnership with CHDM’s six local municipalities and agricultural stakeholders.

Mbotshane said implementing the plan would not be delayed after the resolutions were taken.

All stakeholders will be requested to sign the resolutions so that everyone involved will be accountable for their responsibilities, to create the desired social impact.”

Ngcobo mayor Siyabulela Zangqa said: “Although we have resources we do not see the eradication of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The challenges we have are the land issue in villages and a shortage of youth, women and people with disabilities participating in the sector. Other difficulties are climate change and funding.”

Zangqa said President Cyril Ramaphosa had launched the district developmental model in OR Tambo recently.

The president made a proposal, requesting government departments to channel their work into communities through municipalities for service delivery to be efficient. The summit is part of channelling through those requirements.”

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