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South African Harvest Day Celebrations to Highlight Mlondozi Landcare Program

Submitted by: TechnoServe, Inc.

Categories: Community Development

Posted: Jul 29, 2003 – 12:00 AM EST

 

Jul. 29 /CSRwire/ - Norwalk, CT - Tomorrow's annual Harvest Day celebrations will hold a special place in the hearts of hundreds of farmers in the Mlondozi area of South Africa's Mpumalanga province.

More than 500 farmers, government officials and media representatives are
expected to be in attendance as the four-year-old Mlondozi Landcare Program
marks a significant milestone with the official opening of the first of two
much-needed facilities where farmers can store and distribute inputs,
equipment and crops.

The 500-square meter building was donated by the Mpumalanga Agricultural
Development Corporation (MADC) to the Mlondozi farming community as part of
the Mlondozi Landcare Program. The program, which began in 1999 as a
partnership between Mlondozi farmers, Monsanto Company, the South African
Department of Agriculture, the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture and the
Government of Australia, is focused on improving economic opportunity in
this rural community.

With funding from Monsanto Company, TechnoServe became involved in the
program in January 2003 and is currently conducting a series of
participative workshops designed to increase the agronomic and agribusiness
skills of the Mlondozi farming community. These workshops cover such
topics as land husbandry, loan management, strategic planning, marketing
and distribution.

In addition to providing program funding and technical expertise, Monsanto
Company supplies the farmers with maize hybrid seeds and conservation
tillage technology.

The Mlondozi Landcare Program originally began with just 18 farmers, but
now has over 375 farmers participating in the program. Local farmers have
seen production of maize, the primary crop in this area, increase from an
average of 500kg per hectare to nearly four tons per hectare. Ultimately,
the program will increase the production capacity and income potential of
more than 1,500 Mlondozi farmers working on 4,500 hectares.

For more information about the July 30 Harvest Day event please contact:
John Phipson, TechnoServe South Africa,topcrops@mweb.co.za,
011-27-35-340-1940 or 011-27-82-685-0241

For more information, please contact:

Laura Johnson Technoserve
Phone: (203)853-0377

 

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