WC food projects receive a welcome financial boost

The Western Cape department of agriculture is funding two West Coast food projects for the remainder of the financial year. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

The Western Cape department of agriculture is funding two West Coast food projects for the remainder of the financial year. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

The Greenhands Community Food Garden Project in Stompneus Bay on the West Coast and the Middelpos farm near Malmesbury were informed that the Western Cape government will be funding their projects in the current financial year.

Petronella Ponie of the Greenhands Community Food Garden Project says that their initiative will provide Stompneus Bay with an affordable, nutritious and sustainable food source.

Chief director Dr Hlami Ngwenya and minister Meyer planting a lemon tree at the site of the food garden. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

“It has been hard work to get the garden established. Our volunteers are mostly women. They have been fantastic. Through their hard work we have been able to plant our first vegetables and take the first step towards food security,” she says.

Dr Ivan Meyer, Western Cape minister of agriculture. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Western Cape minister of agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer, who handed over seedlings and gardening equipment to the project, agrees.

“This partnership between the Western Cape government and the community of Stompneus Bay improves access to nutritious food and improved food security. In addition, the Greenhands Community Food Garden Project will provide a sustainable source of food to the community.”

The grant provides for irrigation, fencing, water tanks, garden tools and production inputs such as seedlings, fertiliser compost and a container for storage purposes.

Farming community

The Middelpos farm is 60ha in size and has 13 families who are the direct beneficiaries of the produce on this farm.

Current farming activities include olives, Shiraz grapes, vegetables, agro-processing and other arts and crafts aimed at project sustainability and skills transfer.

Grant funding from the Western Cape department of agriculture allows for establishing an agro-processing plant, improved mechanisation and production inputs for vegetables.

“Ultimately, both these projects are about providing sustainable livelihoods and dignity through agriculture to the participants,” says Meyer.

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