Agriculture, land reform and rural development minister Thoko Didiza acknowledged the contribution of rural women towards agriculture and food security. Their role cannot be overstated, she said during her address to farmworkers in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape.
Highlights of Didiza’s speech are included in the latest edition of the Farmer’s Inside Track podcast, now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Didiza visited the region on Monday as part of the earlier World Food Day celebrations.
World Food Day is a global United Nations initiative used to highlight food security challenges. Didiza said the day also opened up much-needed conversations around the importance of agriculture in our country, and around access to nutrition.
“We look at the importance of nutrition that actually gives us sustenance, [and] also better health. We also look at the production systems and how these become resilient in order to make sure that they absorb any shocks [there] might be for the industry. But it is also a day around which we raise a lot of awareness among our communities about the importance of food, and those who produce it, and how it is produced.”
This year, World Food Day was preceded by the International Day for Rural Women, which is why the celebrations in the Cederberg were focused on the contributions of women to the agricultural sector.
“A majority of these [rural] women are workers in rural industries, such as agriculture and agribusinesses. It is a majority of those women who actually are the producers of all the agricultural commodities that we eat; that we export. It is because of their sweat and labour that we actually recognise the contribution of our sector.”
The minister also acknowledged the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the agricultural sector, and the role of farmworkers in keeping the sector alive.
“These women and men braved their lives and the lives of their families, and actually ensured that South Africans and communities in the Southern African region are able to have food and fibre.”
Other farmers’ podcast highlights
This week’s Farmer’s Inside Track also has many other highlights.
- How to set up a business plan: Certified business advisor and farmer Willem van Jaarsveld chats to us about the nitty gritty of production planning.
- Agri 101: We chat to Andile Sasanti, a yoghurt manufacturer who specialises in vegan products made from traditional herbs.
- Animal nutrition: Dr Francois van de Vyver, national technical manager at Voermol, is back to give us some tips on how to make the most of animal nutrition.
- Book of the week: Our book of the week is Dirt to soil: One family’s journey into regenerative agriculture by Gabe Brown.
- Farmers’ tip of the week: Our tip this week comes from Dr Didi Claasen from AfriVet.
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