President Jacob Zuma will on Friday, 31 March 2017 officially launch the Mbizana Rural Enterprise Development (RED) Hub, which is an OR Tambo Centenary Project at Dyifani village in Mbizana, in the Eastern Cape province, run by the Eastern Cape provincial government.
In his State of the Nation Address, President Zuma declared 2017 the year of Oliver Reginald Tambo, who would have been 100 had he lived.
The Mbizana RED Hub is one of the four RED hubs in the Eastern Cape, implemented by the Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR)’s agency, the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA) and covers six wards which constitute 14 villages in the Mbizana Local Municipality, Alfred Nzo District Municipality.
These wards have registered 14 primary co-operatives that have then formed a secondary co-operative which is a structure that owns the RED Hub.
The RED Hub will service the villages with a strong focus on value addition of grain as well as Hub primary production, mechanisation and establishment of a trading centre for farmers to assist cooperatives in growing the local rural economy to create jobs and sustainable livelihoods.
A total of R53.5 million has been invested in establishing and operating the Mbizana RED Hub. The funds for this initiative have been provided to ECRDA by the Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury and ECRDA is implementing the initiative.
The Mbizana RED Hub planted 986 ha in 2014/15 crop production season at 13 primary cooperatives. The total white maize yield that was bagged was 317 tons and 226.5 tons was sold to Mqanduli RED Hub.
In 2015/16 crop production season, there were only 488.1 ha planted land with white maize. This was attributed to the dry and hot drought conditions that affected the entire country. In 2016/17 crop production season, there is approximately 1459 ha planted land with white maize.
Primary Co-operatives received R6.4 million subsidy for mechanisation operations from DRDAR and they took a loan for production inputs.
In 2015/16 DRDLR assisted primary co-operatives with production inputs. The department also supported primary production with fencing of all the arable land that is currently being used for maize production and with two Crop Interns.
Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa