October 16, 2023

Western Cape’s Commitment to Food Security: Leaving No One Behind

FoodForward SA on World Food Day

On 6 October, 2023, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Ivan Meyer, launched Food Security Month during a World Food Day event in Kranshoek, Plettenberg Bay. World Food Day, observed on 16 October, commemorates the establishment of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. This year’s theme is “Water is Food, Water is Life ‘Leave No One Behind.'”

Minister Meyer emphasized the ongoing commitment of the Western Cape Government to address the challenges of food insecurity and malnutrition. He highlighted that the Western Cape Department of Agriculture takes concrete actions to celebrate World Food Day, emphasizing the importance of leaving no one behind.

Leading up to World Food Day 2023, the Department’s One Home, One Garden Initiative benefited 123 households in Kranshoek, Crags, KwaNokuthula, New Horizon, and Wittedrift. This initiative encourages households to establish their vegetable gardens, promoting food security rather than unsustainable food relief. Participating households receive the necessary resources to start their vegetable gardens in their own backyards, with the goal of ensuring affordable, available, and accessible nutritious food for domestic consumption.

Additionally, seven households were trained in poultry production and will receive support for their poultry projects once the Avian Flu crisis in South Africa has been resolved. Recipients of materials and training are equipped with the skills needed for successful project maintenance.

Furthermore, four community vegetable gardens were implemented at various locations, supported with infrastructure, production inputs, gardening equipment, and advisory services.

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture, with the support of sponsors and staff, also mobilized donations for a ‘Food Mountain’ distributed to five local NGO/NPOs that primarily serve children, women, youth, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

Minister Meyer urged citizens to start household gardens to produce fresh, nutritious food, emphasizing the One-Home-One-Garden Initiative’s partnership with municipalities, NGOs, and Faith-Based Organizations. He concluded by encouraging responsible water resource management, including rainwater harvesting, to sustain food gardens and reduce dependence on municipal water, reinforcing the vital connection between water and food security.