Government interventions that address the specific needs of women farmers are key to mitigate the current economic situation and to alleviate existing gender inequalities particularly in the agricultural sector. This was said by MEC Desbo Mohono of Agriculture and Rural Development in the North West Province when she was officially handing over the LoveGreens Agricultural project to its founders in Vlakfontein Farm outside Koster town.
The LoveGreens Project is a 100% percent black – female owned agricultural business focusing on planting and supply of fresh greens to the local market as well as to the neighboring province of Gauteng.
The business was established in 2016 and is run by two dedicated women farmers; Yedwa and Zamampembe Simelane. The project which is now going to be known as the Charlotte Maxeke Lovegreens Project was initially supported by the department in the 2018/19 fiscal year.
With the funds, the project received 1ha shade net for their greens, irrigation system, cold room, steel container, mobile freezer, water tanks, security fence, generator and many other agricultural inputs for sustainability purposes.
Since the business is operating from a rural area, it has created job opportunities for the locals and it has a potential of providing more reliable employment contracts for even more people from the surrounding areas.
This project is one of many female owned agricultural ventures in the province that have been supported by the government. Not so long ago, female cattle farmers in the province received bulls from the government to improve their herds.
MEC Mohono expressed delight with the manner in which beneficiaries in general and agricultural project owners are showing dedication in growing their grafts and determination to establish integrated sustainable businesses.
“For government, in particular our department of Agriculture and Rural Development, we are proud of the progress we have made thus far concerning women empowerment in the sector.
“We have afforded access to economic activities for women and youth in Agriculture and with nutritious food and land reform platforms. These are just some of the first steps in our Department’s attack on poverty which weighs so heavily on women in particular,” MEC Mohono said.
She further went on to challenge the women involved in agriculture and said the task now for them is to seize the opportunities provided by the latest developments, so that they can indeed play their rightful role in transforming their communities in generating sustained economic growth and reconstruction development.
The two beneficiaries welcomed the support and thanked the department. Yedwa said the inputs will go a long way into ensuring that the business continues to operate and employ locals to tackle the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
At the beginning of this financial year, MEC Desbo Mohono committed that the department will increase support to female owned agricultural projects in the province to fight the high levels of unemployment and to contribute to the food security programme.
For those who are already involved in agriculture and in need of any kind of agricultural support, are encouraged to enquire with the nearest agricultural office.