One Home One Garden project aims to put food on the tables of KZN families
The KwaZulu-Natal agriculture and rural development department has launched a multimillion-rand garden project to help feed families left financially hamstrung by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the launch of the One Home One Garden campaign in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, finance MEC Ravi Pillay said the initiative, which had cost almost R10m, was aimed at assisting those who have suffered the most during the pandemic.
“We have many people who are vulnerable, especially those who have been laid off work, given short-term unpaid leave and [those in] the informal sector, which is a massive sector that is estimated to be around five million people in the country as a whole,” he said.
“There is a big basket of citizens who are declared vulnerable and that is why we have all the relief such as the top-off on the grants, the special grants and the food relief programmes.”
Pillay was there in his capacity as the uMgungundlovu district champion MEC. He said the garden could also be used to generate an income.
“This garden will not only feed this family. Handled properly, they could generate a surplus to sell to neighbours. And if it is replicated many times over, then the cumulative effect of it will be significant.”
Recipients received fertiliser, seeds, gardening tools and Jojo tanks. The programme is set to be rolled out to 1,600 households.
Philile Nsele, a recipient of the programme, said it would help put food on the table for her, her sister and her daughter and hopefully also bring in much-needed income.
“This will help us as people who are sustaining themselves to get something to eat here in our backyard and be able to sell the products and get money to sustain ourselves,” she said
Zibusiso Dlamini, the chief director for agricultural services at the provincial agriculture and rural development department, said they would also be providing advisory services to help with maintaining the gardens.