Cultivating Growth: MNWAP’s Backyard Garden Initiative Gains Momentum

Cultivating Growth: MNWAP’s Backyard Garden Initiative Gains Momentum

In a concerted effort to foster self-sustainability and community empowerment, the Mkhondvo-Ngwavuma Water Augmentation Program (MNWAP) is making significant strides in the implementation of its Backyard Garden initiative. As of the latest update, the project has achieved noteworthy progress in various key aspects.

One of the backyard gardens at the relocation site in Thezane.

a) Backyard Garden Sites Verification

A comprehensive soil survey and verification were conducted by the MNWAP team in the 31 homesteads situated at Thezane, Makhava, and Mngayi – areas resettled from the dam site. The primary objective of this exercise was to assess the soil’s suitability for vegetable production. Encouragingly, the findings have confirmed that backyard gardens can be successfully implemented in all households, setting the stage for a flourishing agricultural endeavor.

Training on the Livelihood restoration plan.

c) Planting Progress

The MNWAP initiative moves beyond preparation and fencing to the crucial stage of planting. All necessary inputs for the backyard gardens have been procured, including fertilizers, seeds, and pest control measures. Deliveries of these inputs are poised to resume upon the completion of land preparation and fencing. The anticipated date for the commencement of planting is set for the 13th of February 2024.

Planted backyard Garden.

Inputs Procured:

Omnia50kg bag fertilizer14
LAN50kg bag fertilizer10
BeetrootMF Beet Merlin – 50M seeds1
SpinachMF Swiss chard Silverado 1kg1
OnionMF Onion Caledon Globe 500g2
Green pepper1000s pepper seedlings1
Tomato1000s pepper seedlings1
Cabbage1000s pepper seedlings1
Lettuce1000s pepper seedlings2
Cypermethrin1L cypermethrin – Insecticide32
Odeon 720 SC1L Bravo – fungicide32
Malasol500ml Insecticide32
Dithane M45Vondozeb 800WP 1kg62

As the MNWAP Backyard Garden Initiative continues to unfold, it stands as a beacon of sustainable agricultural practices, community involvement, and the promise of a greener, more resilient future for the resettled homesteads.

Field Crops Allocated Area and Future Plans

In a broader agricultural perspective, MNWAP has allocated a total of 42 hectares for field crops at Thezane (23 hectares), Makhava (12 hectares), and Mngayi (7 hectares). The strategic plan involves the cultivation of maize during the summer and dry beans in the winter, aligning with the region’s climatic conditions. Pending activities, including bush clearing, ripping, and discing, will precede quality assessments after each operation to ensure optimal conditions for crop production.

The planting of maize is expected to commence in October 2024, marking a crucial milestone in the journey towards agricultural self-sufficiency and community prosperity. The MNWAP team remains committed to the holistic development of resettled homesteads, fostering a sustainable and thriving future for the people of Eswatini.