On Monday, 9 May 2022, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer announced the Food Garden Competition winners in the Overberg District.
Youth category: Bradlene Baadtjies-Callacher
Household category: Nobekile Duba
School Garden category: De Rust Futura High School
Winners received trophies, certificates, vouchers and cash prizes.
The competition aligns with Minister Meyer's One Home, One Garden Campaign response to the increased threat of food insecurity aggravated by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Meyer: "The One Home, One Garden Campaign is a drive to combat the high levels of food insecurity and promote the resilience and wellbeing of local communities".
Meyer also highlighted that the Ukraine-Russia war would impact consumers directly, leading to food inflation.
Meyer: Access to food and the increase in its affordability is a threat to the consumer. It will lead to a rise in food inflation and more significant pressure on food security and nutrition.
"It is for this reason, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture encourages households, and communities, to produce food sustainably in response to the challenges of household food insecurity".
According to Richard September, who manages the community garden at De Rust Futura High School in Grabouw, their project has been operating since 2016.
September":" Our garden produces vegetables throughout the year. We also do tunnel farming. We sell our produce at an affordable price to the community and staff at the school. In this way, we contribute to the fight against hunger."
"I am also thankful to the Western Cape Department of Agriculture for providing fencing, garden tools and production inputs."
Director for Food security at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Vusumzi Zwelendaba, says that the adjudication panel looked at various factors to determine the winners.
Zwelendaba: "Evaluation criteria included the adherence to good gardening practices such as the sustainable use of resources; the variety of vegetables produced to strengthen household food diversity and other edible crops in the garden; water and soil conservation as demonstrated through the use of recycled water for food production; and overall creativity and innovation.
Meyer: "Ultimately, we want households to shift away from their reliance on the supermarkets for fresh produce and ensure greater access to produce to meet the nutritional needs of families.", concludes Meyer.