from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
DURBAN – THE Northdene Agro-ecology Research and Development Centre is a major boost to the fight against poverty and growth of the local economy.
Located in Queensburgh, Durban, KwaZulu Natal, it is a production hub that is being established at the old Northdene waterworks.
Currently a fish hatchery and bloodstock ponds for the Aquaculture programme and nurseries for plant propagation have been developed.
It also consists of a seed bank, tissue culture and other laboratories for research processes used by various tertiary institutions.
“It is also a centre where we research about plants and to grow fishes. Inside the nursery we produce plants which it helps farmers,” Noma Nene, Senior Horticulturist, said
Small scale farmers benefit from these plants for free.
“If it is not seedlings, they get seeds. We grow small fishes, which we then take to the farmers so it will help them to start the business of fishes,” said Nene.
The centre also has students who help to educate those farmers.
“This initiative will help people to fight poverty in their homes. You can book and attend in a group and learn about growing fishes,” Nene said.
A beneficiary, Solomon Gumede, from a Non Profit Organisation (NPO) called Solomon Foundation, welcomed the partnerships.
“We are able to fight poverty now,” he said.
He lauded the centre’s creation of employment.
“When we started, we were three. We are now five,” Gumede said.
“I came to the hub to get training and they gave me 100 fishes to start my business. After eight months, they grew well and I started to sell to the community. I made a lot of money.”
– CAJ News