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Ndumo Intervention Programme
Ndumo Game Reserve
Ndumo Game Reserve

Background

Click on map to open © Peace Parks Foundation
Click on map to open © Peace Parks Foundation
Following the approval of the Mbangweni/Bhekabantu agricultural livelihood project by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Peace Parks Foundation were tasked with undertaking social facilitation and community consultation on behalf of the project.

As a first step towards restoring the conservation integrity of Ndumo Game Reserve, the fence on the eastern boundary was re-erected. Under the guidance of the Umhlabuyalingana Municipality, a very successful sensitisation meeting was held with the communities. Community leaders welcomed the opportunity to work with a joint task team comprising provincial and local government authorities and civil society organisations to find meaningful and long-term alternative income opportunities for the communities residing adjacent to the reserve.

A five-year project implementation plan for the Ndumo Game Reserve strategic intervention project was drafted and approved by the relevant authorities. The implementation plan comprises all value-chain components of the project, including crop production, water supply/irrigation, water points for livestock, aquaculture and micro-enterprise development. The initial focus is on crop production and food security.

During November 2012, 15 trainees from the beneficiary community underwent an introductory 30-day agricultural cooperative training programme intended to equip them with the skills to establish and manage an agricultural cooperative. Following completion of the training, the trainees consulted with the community leadership structures and have initiated the process to register a formal agricultural cooperative with assistance from the Umhlabuyalingana Municipality. The agricultural cooperative will play an important role in all future project activities, particularly those of a commercial nature.

Current Projects

In 2013 the Bhekabantu/Mbangweni agricultural support project was escalated to the Corporate Services Unit of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, as it is deemed a priority project for the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

Members of the agricultural cooperative were selected to participate in an ongoing training and capacity-development programme that will equip them with the skills required to manage the cooperative and its commercial activities.

The business plan for the introduction of commercial crop tunnels and the production of cash crops was completed and implementation will start in 2014. Crop fields have also been cleared and fenced for the planting of groundnuts in 2014.

Boreholes were sunk, water tanks erected and water points created for domestic cattle. Water to irrigate crops will be extracted from the Pongola River by way of a pump system. The dip tanks are now fully operational and are regularly inspected by livestock management officers from the KZN Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs. These officers work closely with the local community and advise them on the use of the dip tanks and the detection of livestock diseases. In total 360 households, comprising approximately 2 800 people, many of whom are migrant workers, are benefitting from the agricultural development work.

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