EC farming initiative, social development to spark hope in unemployment

JUNE 9, 2016

The Department of Social Development launched a R2 million program to strengthen agricultural entrepreneurship, unemployment and food security in the Mthatha area.

Through this, the Milla farming initiative in Mathatha progressed from subsistence farming to commercial farming in just two years and can aid in escaping youth unemployment in the area, which currently stands at 71%.

One of the founders of the initiative, Milla Phandovu, said in a statement that the crisis of unemployment drove him to start a community garden, which now supplies produce to various chain stores and business outlets in the area.

Nancy Sihlwayi, spokesperson of the Eastern Cape Social Development, implied that agricultural development is a necessary tool to address unemployment in the province and to spark similar initiative ventures for young people in the area.

Sihlwayi told SABC news that the unemployed youth should be given the much needed skills to alleviate their lives when affected negatively.

“When their lives get affected negatively by social ills and unemployment, they should be given options in order to deal with their future,” Sihlwayi said.

The sustainability of the start-ups will continuously be monitored by the Department of Social Development.