The minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Thoko Didiza, has expressed her appreciation for farmers, farmers’ organisations and agribusinesses that go out of their way to show humanity towards the destitute.
May organisations showed ubuntu by donating and contributing food parcels, fresh produce sanitisers, live cattle and personal protective equipment to those in need.
“The contributions made by Golden Harvest, African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA), Bitter Fence, and Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) are an indication that Ubuntu and solidarity remains the character of our society,” said Didiza in a news release.
“The interventions of government in partnership with other civil society organisations, community members and individuals in ensuring food security amongst our people remains important during this time of the pandemic. We must continue to support those who work in the fields and in agribusiness industries because they remain vulnerable in the face of the disease. We continue to appeal to our farmers and owners of agribusinesses to do all that they can to have work plans that comply with our health protocols on COVID-19,” she concluded.
The African Farmers Association of South Africa (Afasa) worked with the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) provincial government to donate 63 cattle for slaughter to help relieve famine. The provincial department of agriculture and rural development donated 40 head of cattle, while Afasa donated 23 sourced from its members.
KZN Afasa chairperson, Jabulani Mthembu, said they realised that there are people who are in great need. “We felt that it is necessary that we provide relief, especially a protein relief, as people might be moving to level three. They have been sluggish through staying at home and might need protein and energy so that they are able to do their business.
“Our intention is for those who are in dire need of assistance to be beneficiaries. We are going to be working with the government to make sure that we identify people who are destitute. Since this is our initiative, we are going to make sure that we continue with it until the food gets to the intended beneficiaries,” said Mthembu.