MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane hands over 30 goats and 35km fencing to Bedford

DECEMBER 4, 2015

Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, on Thursday handed over 30 goats to the Intsha yase Nyarha Youth Project in Bedford as part of the department's food security and landcare development initiative.

He also handover a 35km fencing project to the local community during the service delivery visit. 

According to the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, when MEC Qoboshiyane handed over 27 goats to another local youth cooperative, Ihlumelo elitsha, early this year, Intsha yase Nyarha also submitted their request to be trained in goat farming.

The MEC was also shown about 25 offsprings from the goats he delivered to Ihlumelo in February.

"The fact that these goats gave birth is sign that the youth owned cooperative was implementing the lessons they learnt from government training and are committed farmers," Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, the MEC's spokesperson, said.

Fencing and land care 

"In response to an application by local farmers requesting fencing for their grazing land, the Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, fenced about 35 kilometers of grazing land.

"Bedford livestock owners, who own about 998 Cattle, 945 Sheep and 466 Goats in total, use a 998ha unfenced municipal commonage for livestock grazing. Owing to the lack of fence, livestock damaged local properties and strays on the roads, causing road accidents in some instances," Sicwetsha said.

He said a lack of fencing  resulted into overgrazing and poor control of livestock movement. The farmers then applied to the Rural Development and Agrarian Reform department to assist with fencing and land Care support.

"The department invested about R1 865 000 to the programme over the period of three years t for Landcare and created about 270 temporal jobs for the locals."

Importance of the Service delivery visit

Sicwetsha said that goat farming is an important activity in this community with dry climatic conditions. It also gives unemployed youth opportunities to be trained, involved in farming and owning their own businesses.

"Opportunities flowing from this business activity will help these young people trade in goat milk, skin and meat, setting them on a prosperous trajectory from unemployment."

He said the donated fencing was important too.

"Owing to the effects of lack of proper fencing, local farmers couldn’t manage grazing properly. With this fencing they will now be able to alternate grazing land or pastures in the area in a way that preserves other pastures for future seasons. This will also help our land care programme reduce soil erosion in the area as overgrazing contributed to it."

Image: Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC, Mlibo Qoboshiyane with Intsha yase Nyarha Youth Project members Thanduxolo Mboyo, Kwakhanya Didiza and Bongani Mdoda.