The proposed revival of a dairy farm project in eMantusini, Port St John’s, in the Eastern Cape, has been welcomed.
COVID-19 lockdown regulations coupled with ongoing sustainability challenges caused the near-collapse of the farm.
The project was started by the Department of Agriculture in 2005. It only gained momentum in 2011 when the department and other partners provided the necessary support.
However, the R40 million project is now in a state of disrepair. Tractors are standing idle, pastures deteriorating and a massive loss of livestock.
The Mantsuni community set to benefit from a multi-million dairy farm project:
In July, SABC News reported on the dire state of the project and the provincial government has now stepped in to help.
“We are here following a report in the state of the farm. We are here to implement intervention measures. We will also introduce an investor to help us sustain this project. We want this farm to ensure food security and provide a processing plant to manufacture its own good,” says Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC Nomakhosazana Meth.
“This means a lot for poverty alleviation in a district like ours. We would like to urge people to maintain any projects at their disposal,” says Thokozile Sokhanyile from the OR Tambo district municipality.
Workers not paid for three months will now receive their salaries.
Mantusini Dairy Trust in trouble amid lockdown regulations:
Investor and Director of Creamtop Organisation, Sihle Ntuli says they are going to shut the dairy down for three months.
“We will shut the dairy down for three months. We will then focus on reviving the pastures and the state of the cattle. We will focus on ensure it produces over 24 000 litres instead of 300 which it was currently producing.”
Stakeholders in the project have welcomed the intervention.
“We are pleased with the intervention and hopeful it will help us revive. We were on the brink of collapse but now things are looking good for the revival of this farm,” says senior manager of the Mantusini Dairy Farm, Oscar Nzimande.
“I want to thank you and the SABC for the job well done to help us. This is our beacon of hope and it was sad to watch our cows perish. We are now grateful it is back to its condition,” says Local Chief Inkosi Mthetheleli “Mhlabuhlangene” Cameron Nomphandana.
Rural Development says it is in consultation with the national government to ensure the sustainability of the project.
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