The National Development Agency (NDA) celebrated World Food Day, which was commemorated under the theme “Water is life, Water is food. Leave no one behind.” As part of the celebrations, the NDA continued to emphasize its commitment to eradicate poverty by supporting initiatives like the Ntsweletau Agricultural Cooperative (NAC) that has made significant contributions to food security and poverty eradication.
NAC was established in 2010 by five friends and formally registered in 2011. The cooperative, whose main aim was to address youth and women unemployment along with food insecurity, is located at Manganeng village in the Sekhukhune District, in Limpopo. It is here that it produces seasonal crops on 5-hectares of land provided by the tribal authority and sells excess produce to the local community.
The R528 171.58 grant funding from the NDA went towards a borehole, a storehouse, an office, as well as establishing a drip – irrigation system and a shade net structure. This assistance went a long way towards ensuring that the cooperative has a reliable source of water for their crops, as well as a shade net to enable them to plant during off-seasons in order to maintain a steady supply to meet local demand. The cooperative has grown steadily and has been able to generate 20 job opportunities (5 permanent and 15 temporary) for the locals. NAC’s produce is sold to nearby stores like Spar and Pick 'n Pay, with an eye on the bigger markets.
“The NDA's unwavering commitment to our project has transformed our lives. With their support, we have witnessed a remarkable shift towards food security and reliable water access. Our once-vulnerable community is now more resilient, with the tools and resources to sustain our well-being. We are grateful for their vision and partnership," Said Mr Hilton Seloga, Chairperson of Ntsweletau Agricultural Cooperative.
The NDA appeals to other stakeholders to join the battle against food insecurity in disadvantaged communities. Together with other development partners, the NDA can make a difference in communities faced with food insecurity. The NDA calls on government agencies, non- profit organizations, corporations, cooperatives and concerned citizens to work together, contribute, and advocate for policies and programmes that ensure everyone has access to nutritious food and combat food insecurity.
Note for Editor:
The NDA is an agency of government tasked with the mandate to contribute towards the eradication of poverty. It reports to parliament through the Department of Social Department (DSD). The NDA derives its primary mandate from the National Development Agency Act 108 of 1998, whose primary objective is to contribute towards the eradication of poverty and its causes by granting funds to CSOs for the purposes of: (a) carrying out projects or programmes aimed at meeting the development needs of poor communities; and (b) strengthening the institutional capacity of other CSOs involved in direct service provision to poor communities.