World Food Day 2013

World Food Day 2013

From farm to fork forever – World Food Day 2013

“Picked today from the garden and straight into the pot!” That’s the motto that Welheminah Mutane now lives as a member of the Tlhaku Farming Project in Swaneville on the West Rand of Johannesburg. She’s got evidence too…jars and jars of pickled beans and stewed fruits on sale at JAM SA’s World Food Day market.

Joint Aid Management South Africa’s (JAM SA) celebrated World Food Day with a fresh food market and hamper distribution in Swaneville on the West Rand of Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The market, held in collaboration with the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, provided a platform for micro-farmers in the community to sell their fresh and processed produce. Guests were invited to walk through the Tshwaranang Disability Centre’s community garden before browsing the tables laden with bunches of spinach, jars of pickled beans, stewed guavas and carrot cake.

These micro-farmers are all beneficiaries of JAM SA’s Agricultural Development programme, funded by WesBank. Over a three-year period, the programme aims to equip 900 micro-farmers in Orange Farm and West Rand with the training and skills needed for them to start their own backyard gardens.

Food for tomorrow

“The WesBank Fund knows that local and sustainable food systems require sustained support to be successful. For this reason, the Fund provides multi-year funding support to its partner organisations in support of household food security and the attainment of agricultural livelihoods,” comments Graeme Wilkinson, Client Relationship Manager at Tshikululu Social Investments.

From simply being able support their families, the farmers are striving to reach the stage of being able to make a livelihood out of their gardens. “The Fund commends JAM SA for its work in helping people build their own food gardens as assets which deliver increasing returns over time: Returns of fresh and nutritious food, but also social and economic returns too. Together with JAM SA on this World Food Day, we celebrate the very real and tangible benefits that a lifestyle of food gardening offers,” adds Wilkinson.

Micro-farmer Welheminah Mutane is proof of the success of the programme. She believes that World Food Day event in Swaneville has given the micro-farmers from the Tshwaranang Disability Centre and Tlhaku Farming Project great exposure, which will led to many sales in the future. “They didn’t know we sold all this but now they know who to go to for spinach, for cabbage!”

“Today was an important day for JAM SA and our partners as it provided an opportunity for the community farmers who have received training and inputs to showcase the results of their efforts. This demonstration of individuals using what they have learned and thereby helping themselves is a potential inspiration for others,” says David Brown, Chief Operating Officer at JAM International.