Agriculture MEC celebrates World Food Day with Merweville community
By Mishkah Anthony
10 October 2008
MEC of Agriculture in the Western Cape, Cobus Dowry and his department today celebrated World Food Day in Merweville.
This day is officially celebrated on the 16 of October but due to other departmental commitments, today was most suitable.
Meanwhile Cobus says the department recognises food security as a priority and their duty to create sustainable interventions to prevent food insecurity through agricultural solutions as a contribution to a sustainable safety net.
This year the Department has delivered 39 starter packs to vulnerable households in the form of indigenous fowls to enable them to meet their dietary requirements. Each household received 20 chickens and an additional 15 households will receive chickens during November 2008.
The Department has also thought it good to institute a Rams project whereby they seek to improve the genetic make up of the livestock, for the improvement of economic traits such as growth rate and carcass quality, through the introduction of new rams. The project is introduced to counter an inbreeding problem encountered by emerging farmers. They have purchased 5 sheep rams and 1 goat ram. The project will support six groups of farmers farming on a commonage land.
A Community vegetable garden is been established in collaboration with the National Development Agency. The food garden project also collaborates with the nursery that will supply seedlings for the garden. The nursery and food garden will operate as one project.
In addition, the Department is collecting non-perishable foodstuff, clothing and books to build a food mountain that will be given to the indigent households in the community.
Cobus says their mission is to enhance the economic, ecological and social wealth of the people of the Western Cape through reducing hunger in the Western Cape.