Harvesting food entrepreneurs
16:38 (GMT+2), Wed , 24 September 2014
Armed for success – the final group of organic food garden trainees in Hlawini
Ronelle Ramsamy

CULTIVATING a door-sized organic garden is breaking the shackles of poverty in rural communities of northern Zululand.

Through the Amangwe Village on-site organic food garden, more than 100 community members have successfully completed a training course aimed at ensuring food security in impoverished areas.

Funded by Bell Equipment and facilitated by Amangwe’s organic food garden trainer, Bongani Mthethwa, the purpose of the training programme is to combat poverty and successfully start organic food gardening in rural communities.

‘The on-site food garden provides fresh vegetables and fruit to the 40 children in the Amangwe crèche, who receive two balanced meals and a snack daily.

‘Five groups of 20 people were trained, including 40 members of the patient support groups in Sokhulu and Oshashweni,’ said Mthethwa.

‘At present, the demand for training far outweighs the availability of funds,’ said Amangwe Village Manager, Erna Steynberg.

The other communities who benefitted from the training were the Dube Traditional Council in eSikhaleni, and Hlawini and Mkhoma communities in eNseleni.

Each trainee received a starter kit, including a rake, hand fork, hand spade and a watering can.

The project also gained national media attention recently with the organic food garden being aired on the SABC 2 programme ‘Growing Tomorrow’.

‘We have established a nursery with the sole purpose of providing seedlings to groups in the community and to plant vegetable seedlings in our own garden at Amangwe.

‘We value the support the project and Amangwe receives in rural communities from the local leadership and community members,’ Steynberg said.

In areas where there is a lack of water, box gardening is also being introduced as a supplementary concept.

This idea was implemented following a visit by the schoolchildren from St Patrick School in Yellowknife Canada to Amangwe Village.

Voting Poll
How have the rains affected your farming activities?
Not at all
Cannot keep up with my weed programme
Harvesting is becoming an issue
Enjoying every bit of it