By Majaha Nkonyane | 2018-02-15
NOT many chiefdoms in Swaziland have formal, well-articulated development roadmaps.
That is, however, not the case anymore for Nkonka chiefdom at Matsanjeni under Chief Gasa WaNgwane, as the area’s development committee has put in place a formalised development plan outlining their socio-economic situation with a clear development blueprint.
Matsanjeni is one of the country’s persistently drought ravaged areas with food insecurity issues. To address this challenge, the development plan indicates the chiefdom’s intention to explore permaculture gardening and conservation agriculture.
“The Nkonka chiefdom will engage in conservation agriculture and permaculture gardening to ensure food security at household level.
“These practices are designed for the implementation and maintenance of an agricultural base land use practices that are environmentally and ecologically sound like practicing crop rotation,” the plan states.
According to the plan, the community is compliant in reducing land degradation, biodiversity loss and mitigation of climate change impact through the application of sustainable land management practices. So for food security reasons the community will establish backyard and commercial gardens.
The chiefdom’s development committee also indicates its intentions of developing an orchard to mitigate on the food insecurity challenges plans are also underway to embark on a water harvesting project that will help benefit the community.
The water project, according to the report, will be through concrete tanks that will be constructed. The water harvesting process will be done during the rainy season for later use in the dry season.
Earth dams are also one of the chiefdom’s priority areas as the development plan indicates that existing ones will soon be rehabilitated. Meanwhile, the community will also engage in cotton farming to improve livelihood opportunities in the community.
The report further states the community’s commitment to tapping into the ministry of agriculture’s programmes. This comes after the community is faced with shortages of rainfall during the ploughing season. In another matter, since Matsanjeni area is perennially faced with rainfall shortage challenges, the report states that maize has proven to be an unsuitable crop to grow in the area as it is constantly destroyed by excessive heat.
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