Social Development MEC, Joyce Mashamba on Monday visited a cooperative run by women in the Mankweng area to celebrate Women’s Month with them.
Mashamba, accompanied by Head of Department, Daisy Mafubelu and other officials visited a nine hectare farm in Mamotintane Village utilised by Ratanang Agricultural Cooperative for the cultivation of spinach, cabbage, onions, tomatoes and mint.
The cooperative has 28 members, mainly from Mankweng and surrounds, who supply local stores and community based organisations as well as national retailers, Pick n Pay and Spar at Paledi Mall.
Cooperative member, Sarah Malatji told Mashamba that they need Government to assist them with technical support, a new irrigation system and fixing the electricity at the farm. “This is a community farm and we produce quality produce to reputable stores. We want to move from supplying local markets to international markets and I think with the help of Government we can achieve that goal,” Malatjie said.
Betty Mafona, a member of the Young Women Christian Association, an organisation that advocates healthy living amongst women in the Mankweng area, said their main problem is funding and lack of infrastructure. “We are currently in a small building, we need a bigger building because a lot of women are using our services,” she said.
Mashamba said in response that her department will assist cooperatives as far as possible.
Story: Herbert Rachuene