North West committed to fighting poverty and hunger

North West Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Desbo Mohono says her department will continue to provide support and resources to needy and deserving communities in a bid to fight poverty and hunger through the department’s food and nutrition programmes.

In the 2021/2022 financial year alone, the department, through various agricultural food production initiatives, managed to support over 3 600 destitute households across all four districts.

The MEC said the food and nutrition security programmes could not have been possible without the produce from various institutions, including Kgora Farmer Training Centre and the Potchefstroom College of Agriculture.

“The department has been producing seedlings and indigenous chickens to deserving households as agricultural production starter-packs. Food security relief packages have been provided to needy rural households across the province in collaboration with the Department of Social Development.

“The department continues to prioritise the need to address the deteriorating food security in the North West, which was exacerbated by the loss of employment and household income at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mohono said.

Integrated Provincial Food Security Strategy

Meanwhile, Mohono announced that the department has developed the Integrated Provincial Food Security Strategy, which will be launched in the current financial year (2022/2023), through the Food Security Coordinating Council of the Premier.

“In our plans for 2022/23 financial year, the department will continue to pursue a ward-based approach, where vulnerable households are targeted.

“To date, the department has developed its Integrated Food Security Provincial Implementation Plan, which categorises food security initiatives that would be implemented with a total of R16 million earmarked to target 3 040 households and subsistence producers,” the MEC said.

She added that the department will be working in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) to roll out the potato production programme, with 10 hectares currently under production and harvesting underway.

“This programme fits into the Food Security Strategy and the department plans to expand production at identified sites with 200 hectares per farmer of the 11 farmers in the next production season, starting September 2022,” Mohono said.

For assistance, or to get more information on this programme, Mohono encouraged community members to enquire with their agricultural local area offices.

Source: South African Government News Agency