Message from Narend Singh,
Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs for KwaZulu-Natal
In the two years since I assumed political
responsibility for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture, I have come to believe
that agriculture to be truly effective, like democracy, must be of the people, by the
people, and for the people.
My Department and I uphold these sentiments,
and have embraced them in our Xoshindlala "Chase Away Hunger" Campaign
which addresses the need for food security and sustainable job creation in our Province.
All agricultural and development projects that have a direct bearing on food security will
be considered for possible inclusion in our Xoshindladla Campaign.
Since my appointment, my Department and I
have supported various initiatives to empower disabled people, and have been privileged to
make allocations to the horticultural projects at the Chatsworth and Merewent Cheshire
Homes, and more recently to the S Das School, at Phoenix. So it is with great joy that we
are able to fund this hydroponic tunnel scheme at the Stanger Training
Department will remain active in the project by providing advice and training, as
required, on an ongoing basis.
I have been impressed by the extent of
community involvement in the development of this hydroponic scheme; the Stanger Training
Centre, the Ward Advisory Committee, and the staff of my Department. Thus it has been
"of the people" and "by the people, " and it will be "for the
people" in two very special ways. First that will be available to train children with
a severe to moderate mental handicap to grow vegetables under protection and, in that way,
to gain life skills and to progress towards self-sufficiency. Second that the structure
will be available to train farmers who are interested in producing horticultural crops
I am pleased that the system has been
designed to be environmentally sensitive, and that a two tier, gravel bed system was
chosen since this will allow for the recycling of water. It will be important to minimize
water usage, and thus to save water costs, since the School has access only to municipal
I wish the Stanger Training Centre Hydroponic
Tunnel Project, and all those who will be trained in it, every success in their ventures
to Chase Away Hunger.