Peddie community in Eastern Cape exports first pineapple harvest to South America

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A rural community in the Eastern Cape is reaping the fruits of its labour; pineapples to be precise. The Tarfield pineapple farm in Peddie is adding its bit to the agricultural economic sector as its produce is exported to South America.

Agriculture is one of the pillars of the province’s economy. And, this success story strengthens that pillar. More than 30 people have meaningful employment through this venture.

Project leaders say this initiative brought about much-needed help.

“This has helped us a lot, especially for those who had nothing to do to bring food to the table. We are truly grateful for this,” says one of the leaders.

“If it wasn’t for this project, I’d be sitting at home. Because of this, l have something to do with my life. It has given me strength in my old age,” adds another leader.

The Eastern Cape is blessed with vast arable land which is an asset the provincial government wants to see fully utilised. Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane says the success of the project should set an example for projects that are marred by unnecessary conflicts.

“I think this is going to send a very good message to a number of other people who are watching this in those areas with irrigation schemes where people are fighting over land, fighting on the model to be used to help them to grow. We are looking for land, we want to work the land. Eastern Cape is one of the few provinces in the country that has got huge arable land.”

More than R2 million was injected into the project over the past three financial years.

Stakeholders spoke to SABC News about the project