A subsistence farmer from Makweng village in Zebediela, Limpopo, is spearheading backyard farming in order to alleviate poverty in the area.
Twenty four-year-old Peter Molepo has helped start a gardening project which helps households grow vegetable gardens as a source of food.
Molepo says while this is small, it has helped feed some families in his communities. Crops that are planted include spinach, squash, beetroot and onions.
Molepo says his aim is to help locals with ensuring consistent food security.
“I think that communities can start to do smaller gardens at their homes. Sometimes when I go through the community telling them that they should do the gardens the challenge I hear is the scarcity of water and I told them there is a solution on how they can get water to water their gardens. The solution being that you can take the dirty water and use ashes to pour inside the water after then the water will turn clean to water the garden. So it is important that South Africans have backyard gardens to fight poverty because poverty is the one that hurts us the most.”
Some community members have expressed happiness that they are able to feed their families.
“This project is very very important because when it comes to buying vegetables, vegetables are very very expensive and we are living in a world where there are no jobs and so on. So if you have this type of project it helps us and alleviates poverty and you eat fresh food from the garden.”
“Now, Peter has come to this village, they have food at home. Peter planted this whole yard, now the poverty is out at my house. This project has helped me a great deal, I learnt to use advanced methods of farming from Peter.”
Food Security | Political economy of South Africa’s agricultural sector: Wandile Sihlobo: