LOOCHA Page 20
BY SIYABONGA MAGADLA
National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Executive Chairperson, Andile Lungisa, this month launched a tomato growing and processing project run by two emerging young black farmers; Phetheho Motanyane and Themba Mazwai owners of BNT Resources. The launch took place in Kruger's Post farm, Cookhouse, in the Eastern Cape where the project is running. The project emanated from the NYDA assisting to facilitate interactions between the two entrepreneurs and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform three years ago, resulting in the department purchasing the farm from its initial owner at a cost of R17.5 million, subsequently leasing it to the two emerging farmers for a period of 10 years.
“The NYDA started facilitating the interactions between the two entrepreneurs and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in 2009 as part of its rural development focus resulting in the department acquiring the farm and making it available for owners of BNT Resources. Later, the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) came on board granting the two young farmers a loan funding to the value of R10 million to help start farming and processing tomatoes. BNT has since employed 175 people from the Cookhouse community as part of the growing project,” explains Lungisa.