SMALL-SCALE FARMERS PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN FOOD SECURITYCasidra
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) recently partnered with Agri-Expo to present a farmer day, themed Small-Scale Farmers in an Urban Environment.
The SPCA in Grassy Park hosted the farmer day. Agri-Expo made the event accessible via an online platform.
Topics varied from livestock suitable for the environment, livestock pests and parasites in confined spaces and how one farming enterprise can benefit another.
Addressing the audience, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture highlighted that farmer support and development was one of his priorities.
Minister Meyer: “The innovative use of farmer days and virtual platforms has enabled the WCDoA to deliver client-focused, problem-solving technical information to farmers and other stakeholders in the Western Cape.”
“Small-scale farmers, particularly in the Metro, play a critical role in ensuring food security” continued the Minister.
One such small-scale farmer supported by the WCDoA is Renshia Manuel.
Manuel: “Being unemployed and having to feed my children forced me to grow vegetables in my backyard to feed my family. A successful first garden sparked the drive to teach households to grow their food at their own homes.”
Today Manuel is the proud owner of an award-winning business, GrowBox.
Manuel: “GrowBox is a social enterprise. We grow vegetables and herb seedlings which we sell to retailers, farms, nurseries and government entities. We also manufacture wooded veggie boxes called grow boxes which we sell to our clients.”
“The Western Cape Government is committed to promoting job creation, economic recovery and food security” concluded Meyer.
Photo – Minister Ivan Meyer, Leon Kruger, Donald Mouton, Renshia Manuel, Chris Hartzenberg and Jerry Aries