Category “South Africa”

South Africa: City Women Generate Food & Income on Tiny Urban Plots

Cape Town — “It’s a lot of work”, says Mama Lulama Jim as she takes respite from the wind in a makeshift container kitchen. She pauses to study her notes made during an early morning inspection of the current crops of cabbage, carrots, spinach, brinjal and spring onion.

“It’s a lot of work, but we manage because we have a passion for farming”. Mama Jim is part of a revival of urban agriculture in the townships of Cape Town. On the back of higher food and commodity prices, micro farmers like Mama Jim are using tiny parcels of land to grown food for their families and to generate an income.

She and three other women, all over the age of 60, run a communal food garden in Gugulethu, a township on the outskirts of Cape Town.

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South Africa: Help for Farmers in Overgrazed Areas

The government has unveiled an Animal and Veld Management Programme to provide support for farmers working in parts of South Africa that have historically suffered from overgrazing.

The programme, launched by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti in Msinga village in KwaZulu-Natal last week, will also help with soil rehabilitation, spatial decongestion and re-greening of the environment.

It is one of a number of initiatives aimed at reversing the legacy of the 1913 Natives’ Land Act, which led to the congestion of the majority of black people into 13% of the land, resulting in overcrowding and overgrazing in communal areas.

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South Africa: The Nation’s First Mobile Agri-Lab

South Africa’s first mobile agricultural laboratory, one of the most technologically advanced in the world, will be a major boost for the country’s emerging farmers, enabling them to have their water, soil and animals tested on their doorstep.

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) spent R3-million on the development of the laboratory, which was recently launched by non-governmental organisation Mobile Agri Skills Development and Training (MASTD) at the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport outside Nelspruit.

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South Africa: New niche finance company for fruit producers

A new niche financial institution, Capespan Capital, has been launched to provide fruit producers exporting through Capespan with access to dedicated finance. Offering a comprehensive financial product range, the company aims to support producers’ short-, medium- and long-term finance needs.

This joint venture was established by Capespan, the largest South African fruit procurer, marketer and exporter, and leading niche agriculture financier Capital Harvest in partnership with the Landbank as financier.

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Africa: Obama Re-Commits to Promoting Food Security and Health

An excerpt from President Obama’s speech at the University of Cape Town:

We believe that societies and economies only advance as far as individuals are free to carry them forward. And just as freedom cannot exist when people are imprisoned for their political views, true opportunity cannot exist when people are imprisoned by sickness, or hunger, or darkness.

And so, the question we’ve been asking ourselves is what will it take to empower individual Africans?

For one thing, we believe that countries have to have the power to feed themselves, so instead of shipping food to Africa, we’re now helping millions of small farmers in Africa make use of new technologies and farm more land. And through a new alliance of governments and the private sector, we’re investing billions of dollars in agriculture that grows more crops, brings more food to market, give farmers better prices and helps lift 50 million people out of poverty in a decade. An end to famine, a thriving African agricultural industry — that’s what opportunity looks like. That’s what we want to build with you.

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South Africa: 100 Percent Organic Mushrooms Produced in Luka Village

Kotulo Mushroom project has been operating for only ten months, and its managing members and workers are already optimistic about its prospect for growth. The North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has spent a total of R3.6 million over a period of two financial years to get this project up and running, and this amount was for the project’s infrastructure development and production inputs for the initial three production cycles.

The project is situated in Luka village outside Rustenburg in the Bojanala Platinum District Municipality, and employs 16 locals, the majority of whom are young people. Of its six managing members, 2 are women, two youths, while two are males.

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South Africa: SA, Argentina Sign Agriculture Pact

South Africa has signed an agriculture agreement with Argentina, extending the country’s programme of opening up markets with non-traditional trading partners.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson signed a statement of intent with her Argentine counterpart, Norberto Yauhar, in Pretoria on Thursday.

The agreement aims to strengthen agricultural development and cooperation between the two countries at technical, operational and policy levels.

Speaking through a translator, Yauhar said the agreement would enhance South-South cooperation, particularly in improving agricultural production efficiencies, sharing technologies, and facilitating trade in agricultural products.

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