The Khoma Xitica Agricultural Association Food Security Project.
A significant percentage of workers in the South African mining industry consists of migrant workers from neighbouring countries such as Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Mozambique, many of whom reside in remote villages.
Upon completion of their contracts, these workers often have no choice but to return to these remote villages where jobs and economic opportunities are few and far between.
In 2012, TEBA, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Sibyane Gold Mining joined hands with the Khoma Xitica Agricultural Association and traditional leaders in an initiative to enhance the quality of life of ex-miners who reside in the Manikiniki Village in the Chibuto District in south-western Mozambique.
To ensure the long-term sustainability of the project beyond the involvement of the project donors and sponsors, the project team first built a rapport with the traditional leaders of the community and established a working relationship with the Khoma Xitica Agricultural Association, who took full ownership of the project. The association is spearheaded by Mr Alberto Quetchane, a former mineworker.
The project team facilitated the official registration of the Khoma Xitica Agricultural Association and enrolled the members of the association for professional training in farming skills and business management, which included topics such as how to grow and market your business.
Water is a critical resource that no farming operation can do without. As the village had limited access to water to irrigate their crops, the project team coordinated the installation of a system to pump water from the closest river and channel it to the village.
The Khoma Xitica Agricultural Association Food Security Project created a number of new jobs and it is still fully operational.
As a result of the project, the agricultural production and crop yield in the Manikiniki Village improved significantly and it continues to contribute to food security. Surplus maize and vegetables are also sold to generate income.
Not only did this project enhance the lives of these community members, it also developed their capacity to take their destiny in their own hands and create a better future for themselves.
As best said by Jacques Diouf: “Hunger is not an issue of charity, it is an issue of justice.” In the case of the Khoma Xitica Agricultural Association Food Security Project, justice was definitely served.