Sukumasakhe Farmers’ Day

Farmers Days are a platform for farmers to share information relevant to their work and make links with important suppliers. Sukumasakhe Farmers Day held in Mtubatuba, Mfekayi was no different. This event was the second of its kind to be hosted in the Umkhanyakude district with the inaugural one having been hosted last year in Mtubatuba, Mapheleni.

The theme of the day was “Small scale farmers and water challenges, what are the options?” and the aim was to provide a platform where ideas could be shared on this issue as KZN has been experiencing a drought for months, with serious water challenges and restrictions having been enforced in some areas. With this in mind the event planning team invited various stakeholders who shared knowledge with the farmers on ways in which they can ensure these challenges are managed better. Options available to the farmers include the planting of drought tolerant crops. Mr Alfred Mokwele from the Agricultural Research Council, a sweet potato expert, gave a presentation on the production of sweet potatoes and the availability of drought resistant cultivars which would do well in drought prone areas.

The war on poverty is a complex one and likeminded stakeholders should join forces and tackle issues together. Mr Dludla, the area extension officer from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, encouraged farmers to use their existing knowledge of the climate to reposition themselves and align their production to prevailing conditions to ensure that production is not adversely affected. He also gave a presentation about services provided by the Department including a mechanisation project and technical and advisory support.

In addition to talks and presentations, the farmers had their agricultural produce on display and for sale. A generous donation from Sunshine Seedlings ensured that quality seedlings were available. Cashbuild was also a kind supporter, donating all prizes for the competition held on the day, which included wheelbarrows, hand hoes and watering cans, items very well received by the farmers: entry tickets also assured entrants an opportunity to be part of a lucky draw.

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Above: Zimele farmers with their produce on display for sale and women collecting the prizes from Cashbuild – a kind supporter.

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