On 8 February 2017, Radio Khwezi attended the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) Farmers Day and field visit held at Gatyana (Willowvale). The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) is participating in an international public-private partnership
The project is called Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA). The WEMA project aims to enhance food security and improve rural livelihoods among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa through development and deployment of drought-tolerant and insect-protected maize hybrids. WEMA products are drought tolerant conventional and transgenic (GM) hybrids that give at least 25% yield. Farmers were very happy about the progress of their very own farms as they replaced their IsiXhosa maize with TELA hybrids, and they started to see the big difference these hybrids made. Their harvest is expected in early June. The Eastern Cape farmers are using their farm as a source of income and to meet the education expenses of their children.
Photos and report: Saziso Dlamini