The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza together with her counterpart, Gauteng MEC of Economic Development, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development Morakane Mosupyoe, and a representative from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a Pre—World food day event on Thursday, October 15.
They visited agricultural projects in Bronkhorstspruit, north of Gauteng ahead of World Food Day Commemoration, which is held every year on 16 October.
World Food Day is commemorated to create public awareness of the world food shortage and to strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
The day coincided with the International Day of Rural Women with the theme around building resilience for women farmers.
The minister and her entourage visited indigent households and agricultural projects where demonstrations of the planting season were also launched.
Addressing the masses at the Bronkhorstspruit Community Hall, the minister told those listening that the government will help those who are prepared to work the land.
“Today is about building resilience of rural women in agriculture during Covid-19, we are all aware of the setbacks we suffered due to this pandemic, so one way we can build the resilience of rural women in agriculture is through access to land,” said Minister Didiza.
The minister encouraged women and youth to apply for the recently released agricultural state land. “There’s wealth in farming, however, this wealth can be achieved if you plough the profits back into your farm so that you can growth,” said the minister.
She said State land beneficiaries will also be supported with implements to be able to work the land. “We will also assist them in accessing markets for their produce.”
The minister, however advised that farming was not for lazy people and quick returns but for those who are prepared to work the land and reinvest in their business.
“You don’t produce to buy a fancy car, reinvest in your business.”
She encouraged communities to create value chain from the grassroots level.
“As much as we encourage people to farm, we advise those who are not interested in farming to at least get a bakkie and sell produce by local farmers…that’s how we can create a value chain,” she said.
She also encouraged local farmers to create a culture of hosting Market Days in rural areas where those that are farming can sell fresh produce to the community.