The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation representative, Dr Francesco Pierri says South Africa should craft strategies to equip local farmers to produce and secure food.  He was speaking at the World Food Day Commemoration in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape.

Pierri says access to land is a key factor if government wants to fight hunger in the rural areas.

“What we have to do is to strengthen and reinvigorate the local economy by giving access to land resources, economic resources to small and medium farmers for these middle farmers to consolidate themselves in the local market and become supplies in the market. Supply the market with fresh foods and use the income in the local market for them to be an engine of income in the countryside.”

Some women involved in the agricultural sector say subsistence farming and introduction of commercial farms in rural areas are important tools in eradicating poverty.

“My parents died when I was very young, I then decided to come and work at the tea estate. I started working here in 1983 and I never looked back. I am feeding my children and there is food on the table. I always make sure that I am bringing something for the kids because of this company. I hope the government will continue to support us so that we can be able to feed our children.”

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