The Bindu agricultural project
Significant progress has been made in the Community Development Facility in the Mozambican component of the Lubombo TFCA.
The Community Development Facility,comprising a donation by the COmON Foundation, was launched as a joint initiative between the government of Mozambique, COmON Foundation and Peace Parks Foundation in 2013. At that time, a call for proposals allowing communities, private-sector institutions and NGOs to apply for project funding from the facility was advertised.
Grants for the following projects were approved by the CDF steering committee and significant progress has been made:
- At the Bindzu agricultural project, which benefits the Tchia community, greenhouses were erected in which community members can produce vegetables using drip irrigation. Fertiliser, pesticides and seed were procured and community members were trained in alternating vegetable production throughout the year and improving their production management and negotiation skills. The irrigation system is operational and the 30 farmers are now working their respective individual plots. Seedlings were also planted in the area outside the greenhouse. Vegetables such as carrots, green beans, cucumbers and peppers have grown well and promise a good harvest. The community will be assisted with linkages to the market and networking with agricultural service providers and suppliers. The project is providing an income to 40 farmers and food security to 150 people.
- The Matchia chilli project was expanded and a storage shed completed. A farm manager was appointed and community members were trained in crop rotation, money management and an understanding of biodiversity. A new irrigation pump was also installed and a vehicle purchased to assist with transport to the market and day-to-day management. Nine tonnes of chillies were harvested and sold in 2014 and the money paid into the community’s account. This is three tonnes more than in 2013. The communities were paid the equivalent of R9 989 per farmer for their chilli harvest. The plants were meanwhile fertilised to improve fruit formation and weight. The project provides full-time employment to 40 community farmers who produce chillies and other cash crops, as well as crops for own consumption within the communities.
- Fresh drinking water is now being provided to nine communities, comprising 1 727 households or 10 362 people, and their cattle. Pumps linked to solar panels are used to pump the water. To manage the water supply project, a water management committee was established for every borehole drilled.
- Altogether 18 community members were trained in hospitality services by the SA College for Tourism. These young members of the Ahi Zameni Chemucane Community Association will all work at the 22-bed Chemucane community lodge, from which 850 people will benefit.
New projects include honey production and conservation agriculture.