YOUTH INSPIRED FOOD GARDEN MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN ELSIES RIVERCasidra
Yesterday, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, visited the Trinity Youth Garden based at Trinity Place in Elsies River.
Inspired by the Climate Justice Movement and a desire to make a difference in their community, brothers Geronimo and Valentino de Klerk began the garden in a dumping space previously utilised as an escape route by local criminals.
The open space has been transformed into a community garden supporting several local feeding projects in the area.
De Klerk: “We have been granted access to an additional ten open spaces. We intend to establish food gardens in each of them to help out youths. The high level of unemployment in the area limits their access to resources. The garden, however, provides a place for youth to contribute positively to food security and climate change while at the same time acquiring skills.”
Minister Meyer highlighted the importance of food security.
Meyer: “Food security is a fundamental human right. On this basis, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture initiated its One Home, One Garden Campaign last year to support households, schools, and communities to produce their food.
Minister Meyer continues: “Over the last three months alone, the Western Cape Government has supported the establishment of 1249 household gardens, 27 community gardens and eight school gardens. We are proud of what our youth have achieved, and with our support, we are hoping to strengthen their work.”
During his visit, the minister handed over gardening equipment, seeds, fertiliser, wheelbarrows, compost, and a 10 000 litre water tank, donated by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture to the garden.
Over the next financial year, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture will implement 1 800 household gardens in impoverished communities across the Province to enhance household food security.
“We aim to ensure that households have access to affordable, nutritious and safe food for domestic consumption. Food gardens allow households to produce enough food to meet their basic food security needs. I want to applaud these youths for uplifting others in their community through a programme which contributes to sustainable food security. I am proud that the youth food garden programme is aligned with our priorities of jobs, safety and dignity”, concluded Meyer.