The Western Cape minister of agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, recently visited two agricultural projects currently supported by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.
Support for small-scale farmers
Chamomile Farming Enterprises located in Schaapkraal, Philippi, is a mixed farming enterprise producing open land vegetables and eggs through battery cage egg layer production. Current egg production stands at 10 000 chickens producing an average of 9 000 eggs a day. About 22 hectares of open land vegetables are under overhead sprinkler irrigation producing cabbage, dhanya, radish, and cauliflower on a daily basis.
The eggs are distributed via Nulaid who grade and distribute the
eggs to retail stores, while fresh vegetables are supplied to Freshmark,
Shoprite’s fruit and vegetable procurement division.
Commenting on his visit, the minister said that one of his key priorities is to strengthen the Western Cape government’s support for small scale and emerging farmers. “Chamomile Farming enterprises is an example of how support from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture can enable a business to flourish. Our Extension and Advisory Services team whose job it is to facilitate, co-ordinate and provide support to black smallholder farmers and commercial farmers has done an excellent job of supporting this agri-business.”
Addressing food security in local communities
The Women for Peace Food Garden operates in Mfuleni in the Cape Metropole. The current project started with its farming activities in 2016 with the purpose of bringing hope to the young people who attend after school study groups. Most of their produce goes directly to the local nutrition programme which feeds 250 children and community members per day.
According to minister Meyer, food gardens such as the Women for Peace Food Garden, play a critical role in addressing food security and hunger in local communities. “Food security is one of the top risks facing the world. We must therefore support and encourage the establishment of community and household gardens to mitigate this risk,” said Meyer. – Press release, Western Cape Government
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