Beans give village boost

Kamva Mokoena

Kamva Mokoena

The impoverished community of Malenge village in Umzimkhulu, Southern KwaZulu-Natal, had reason to smile when agricultural MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu launched a R12million bean production project.

The project is in line with massification programmes meant to encourage poor rural communities in KZN to be involved in plantation or agricultural activities.

Speaking on the occasion Mthimkhulu said they had seen the need to boost rural farming owing to an abnormal hike in food prices.

"So it is no coincidence that the world over the most topical subject of discussion, other than climate change and global warming, is that of rising food prices and the global food price crisis." Mthimkhulu said.

He said that vegetables in cans were not as nutritious as natural crops.

"According to IMF research food prices have increased by 40%, since 2000," Mthimkhulu said.

He urged unity among communities and said their purpose was to boost the economy of Mzimkhulu through beans production.

The bean field covers about 900 hectares and women are benefiting the most from it.

Mzimkhulu mayor Bheki Dzanibe applauded the idea saying: "The only challenge they have is thieves from neighbouring Lesotho who come to steal stock in the area."