Media Release: Western Cape wins big at national LandCare awards
The Western Cape walked away with several awards at the recent LandCare conference held in Bloemfontein.
LandCare refers to the use of sustainable practices to protect the natural environment and resources.
The biennial conference, organised by the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, recognises those who apply a LandCare approach to their work. The three day event was held in Bloemfontein last week.
The Western Cape won 12 awards, including four gold medals.
Owner and founder of Cape based nursery De Fynne, Jacky Goliath, won Gold for Best Woman LandCarer in South Africa.
Goliath owns the only black-owned, commercial fynbos nursery in the country, selling fynbos and agricultural products like blueberries to major retailers like Woolworths.
Despite operating in the Berg River catchment area, which was hard hit by the drought earlier this year, Goliath continued her business, using grey water to water her plants. She specialises in water-wise species such as fynbos and spekboom, which she sells in compostable pots.
Minister Winde said: “Jacky Goliath and De Fynne nursery represent the kind of agricultural success story we aim to replicate across the province. Starting out in a back-yard, the business has flourished, and now takes up 22 hectares of space, supplies major retailers and employs over 20 people. Her focus on sustainable production, water-wise methods and job creation, contribute to her success.”
The other winners of gold awards were Christie Lourens and Bevan Thomas of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s LandCare unit who won in the best LandCare co-ordinator and best out-of-school Junior Care categories, respectively.
The Upper Breede Collaborative Extension Group won the award for best LandCare committee at district level.
The Western Cape also collected four silver medals and four bronze medals.
Minister Winde said: “We congratulate all the winners who work so hard to ensure that the principals of sustainable practices are upheld and promoted. We especially salute the community projects as it is so important that communities and farmers work together on projects aimed at increasing resilience and sustainability”.
The Junior LandCare programme is aimed at introducing children to the sustainable use of natural resources. About 300 children from the province attended the conference. The Western Cape also fared well in the Junior LandCare awards, with Lisa Mentz taking the silver in the best poster category, Liana Human taking bronze for best speech and Belhar Primary winning bronze in the best Drama or Play category.
Said Winde: “I am especially proud of our young award winners. They are the future of farming in our province, and are a sterling example to the sector of how to do it right.”
LandCare manager for the Western Cape, Francis Steyn, said: “It has never been more important to protect the country’s natural capital. Farmers in the Western Cape have just had to deal with the worst drought in a century. Considering climate change and cycles of drought and more intense rainfall, we need to prepare ourselves better. The Western Cape has so many examples of farmers protecting their water, their soil and their biodiversity while becoming more productive. This is what LandCare is all about.”
The full list of winners:
- Christie Lourens – Best LandCare Coordinator
- Upper Breede Collaborative Extension Group – Best LandCare Committee – District Level
- Jacky Goliath – Best Woman LandCarer
- Bevan Thomas – Best Out-of-School JuniorCare
Silver medalists were:
- Berry Wessels – Individual LandCare Champion
- Andries van der Poll – Best Conservation Agriculture Advanced Smallholder Farmer
- Keisie Primary School – Best In-School JuniorCare
- WWF-South Africa – Best Civil Society
Bronze medalists were:
- Titus van der Heyden – Best Conservation Agriculture Beginner Smallholder Farmer
- Koup IV Special Management Area – Best VeldCare
- Central Breede River Water Users’ Association – Best WaterCare
- Koup Area Wide Planning Project – Best Community LandCare
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 072 372 7044