N2 Corridor intervention / piloting of bamboo out establishment
Agriculture is regarded as a vital sector in the regeneration of the Butterworth economy and also improves food security in rural area, although the resources in these communities are currently limited. Many people in rural areas depend on farming to meet various needs and to support their families. Aspire in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) have decided to expand ECDC’s support to planting of bamboo along the N2 corridor. The aim is to test the growing of bamboo with selected intercrops along the N2.
In cooperation with the Zazulwana community a site for a nursery and 2ha pilot site has been identified in Butterworth. The nursery has been established and the tunnel has been erected.
Aspire in cooperation with the local community is in the process of identifying the most suitable site for a larger bamboo plantation around Butterworth town and the wider Mnquma municipality. If the results of the pilot bamboo plantation come back positively, a funding proposal will be developed to seek further funding to expand the pilot to about 500ha. The intention is also then to assist interested community members and entrepreneurs to establish a bamboo growing entity, this certainly being dependent on successfully obtaining further public and private investments.
The overall aim will be to link a new bamboo plantation in Butterworth to other existing plantations in the Amathole area such as at Centane, Mooiplaas and Ndakana and to identify appropriate value adding opportunities.