Western Cape Agriculture celebrates World Food Day with water-wise food gardens

Western Cape celebrates World Food Day with water-wise food gardens

World Food Day is celebrated globally today.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the Western Cape Department of Agriculture had hosted its World Food Day programme in Villiersdorp last week, with a focus on water-wise food gardens.

This year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has selected migration and its impact on food security as the global theme for food security and rural development.

In the Western Cape, we are experiencing one of the worst droughts in more than 100 years. Like the FAO, we recognise that climate change is one of the major threats facing agriculture and food security. That is why we decided to make sure that residents were able to grow their own food with limited water. In our Villiersdorp project, all residents received training on how to use grey water. Food garden projects were fitted with greywater systems. A pipeline links the community gardens to a borehole water supply, meaning no municipal water is being used. We have also partnered with the BGCMA (Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency) to install 28 rain harvesting water tanks.

The following initiatives form part of the R2m food security project:

Three community gardens have been upgraded in Lebanon, Klein Begin and Nuweberg and another 3 new community gardens were established in Villiersdorp.

Two school gardens in Viliiersdorp have been established;

50 families will benefit from household gardens, including drip irrigation, greywater systems and rain harvesting tanks;

160 residents received training in vegetable gardening, focusing on water-wise practices.

Experts from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture have shared the following advice on growing water-wise food gardens:

Drip irrigation systems

Drip irrigation is a network of pipes delivering water at a steady pace. Residents can use normal black plastic irrigation pipe, bore a hole through it and put a rope through the holes so that it is visible on both sides of the pipe. Should this handmade dripper get blocked, pull the rope up and down to unblock it.

Grey water

Make your own greywater-filter by using a plastic bucket and filling it with different layers of rock, gravel, sand and charcoal. Make a hole at the bottom and put a funnel in it. Put a cloth or stocking at the bottom of the bucket to prevent the sand from draining through the funnel.

Opt for organic

When planting your own vegetables, use organic principles to prevent pests and diseases from taking over. Remember diversification with different types of vegetables, herbs and insect repellent plants, is optimal for food gardens.

Source: Government of South Africa

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