On the 16th of October 2021, the Western Cape will join the rest of the world in commemorating World Food Day.

In the lead up to World Food Day 2021, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) supported by its implementing company, Casidra recently hosted an event in the Witzenberg area. The occasion provided the Department and its partners with the opportunity to support the local community, household and school food security projects.

This year, 179 households and 12 diverse community projects including clinics, schools and nursing homes within the Witzenberg area benefitted directly from the day’s events. In addition, a local school gardening competition aimed at stimulating agriculture literacy at an early age was also held.

According to Statistics South Africa’s General Household Survey 2019, 11% of the population of which approximately 6.5 million people suffered from hunger in 2019. The percentage of households that were vulnerable to hunger was estimated at 10,3%, while the percentage of households that had limited access to food was 17,8%  at the same time.

For this reason, the WCDoA’s  One Home, One Garden Campaign continues to make an impact. In the 2020/2021 financial year, the WCDoA rolled-out 5 640 household food gardens to support household food security.

Commenting on the One Home, One Garden Campaign, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, said:

“In response to the humanitarian challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak early in 2020 and the resulting humanitarian challenges, additional funding was allocated to restore the wellbeing and dignity of marginalised and vulnerable households in the province. By doing so, 5 640 households benefitted from our One Home, One Garden Campaign.”

Minister Meyer said, “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating effect on food security of many individuals and households. The WCDoA will, therefore, continue to support households, community gardens and schools. The target for the 2021/2022 period is 1800 households.”

With the support of sponsors and the generosity of staff members, the WCDoA managed to mobilise donations towards a Food Mountain that was donated to five local NGOs/NPOs in the Witzenberg area.

Minister Meyer also had an opportunity to visit the household and community food gardens in the Witzenberg area.  He expressed his appreciation towards each project beneficiary and thanked Casidra for the fantastic work they did in bringing about change and by fighting poverty in the area.  Casidra played a pivotal role in setting up household and community food gardens by supplying, implementing and installing irrigation systems, rainwater harvest tanks, garden structures, production inputs, which ensured the success of this commemorative event in Ceres.

Minister Meyer concluded, “Amid the COVID -19 pandemic, this year’s celebration challenged people to think of food as a symbol of hope, care, wealth and nourishment. As a result, we continue to provide resources and efforts to tackle food insecurity at community and household levels. By doing so, we provide vulnerable households access to a stable, safe and nutritious food source. It is also about providing our citizens with dignity and wellbeing.”

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