Project Koba-Tlala is spreading its wings, with organised agriculture now aboard as the SA Army Reserves initiative gains traction in efforts to supply military messes and see part-time soldiers working – and earning – from small-scale farming.
Recently senior representatives from one of the major agricultural representative organisations in the country – AgriSA – met a top national defence force delegation. Agenda items included the necessity for improved rural and border security as well as collaboration on Project Koba-Tlala (“chase away hunger” in Tswana).
Koba-Tlala is a Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) project, indicating both approval and support from the office of the chief General Solly Shoke. This classification, along with the nod of approval from Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, ensures it does not stagnate.
Driven by Brigadier General Gerhard Kamffer, SA Army Reserves Chief, with assistance from Reserve Force project officers, among Koba Tlala’s successes to date are delivery of fresh produce to military messes, including the Infantry School in Oudtshoorn, as well as partnerships on food production, animal husbandry and, in a further effort to provide income generating opportunities, the private security sector.
During the AgriSA/SANDF engagement the agricultural organisation heard the South African military will use “its inherent collateral utility and assist in the development of emerging farmers to eradicate poverty with the support of commercial farmers,” a SANDF statement said.
“The intent is to assist with facilitation of a process whereby commercial farmers, small-scale and emerging farmers join hands and from which the SANDF is able to procure agricultural and other products, goods and services.
“In this regard, Project Koba-Tlala has taken a further step co-operating with AgriSA to assist in developing emerging farmers and eradicating poverty, with the support of commercial farmers. AgriSA is committed to working with the SANDF to help roll out Project Koba-Tlala and the utilisation of the Mzantsi Home Guard System to improve rural safety and security.”