Minister van Rensburg Visits Masiphile Peace Garden in Khayelitsha
"I love supporting winning projects," Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said during a working lunch with the Masiphile Peace Garden in Khayelitsha. Minister van Rensburg handed over a new nursery and seeds worth R18 000 to the project.
The Masiphile Peace Garden recently won the Western Cape category for a Subsistence Project in the 2011 Female Entrepreneur Competition of the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Minister van Rensburg said that urban food gardens play an important role in household food security and, as such, is part of the larger agricultural sector. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has budgeted R11 million in the 2012/2013 financial year for food garden projects. "My department has already established more than 500 food gardens in the province and this year we will establish another 864 household gardens, 70 community gardens as well as rehabilitate 58 existing gardens."
Minister van Rensburg praised the Masiphile team, and said that their success can be attributed to the fact that they work together as a team under the capable leadership of Nobantu Gwabeni. He said this nursery should be used to grow seedlings for the Masiphile Garden, but also to sell seedlings to other gardens in the area. "In this manner, you will diversify and expand your business."
Minister van Rensburg urged the unemployed youth in Khayelitsha to get involved in food garden projects. "If you want to start a similar project, come and speak to my department."