Backyard crop farmers in the Thabo Mofutsanyana district were empowered with information on how they can improve their produce for food security. The Co-ordinator assigned by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to the district, Nomzika Mchwaga told Dumelang News on Wednesday that the workshop, which was held at the Charles Mopeli stadium, Ha-Sethunya in QwaQwa, was merely to empower crop farming practitioners in the area.
She said the department of agriculture is one of the economic backbones of South Africa.“By such workshops, we believe that there will be no more hunger affecting our people in future,” she said. Mchwaga said holding such workshops doesn’t mean small garden farmers do not know how to plant but it is just to add some knowledge to what they already know.
She said their aim is to add some modern skills rather than the ones they used to apply in the past years.“We have been aware that their yield was too little in the past, but with new skills we give them, they'll produce more,” she said.She added that the most important thing small garden farmers need to know is to be in position to prepare soil before planting.
She said they must also know how to take care of their plants and ensure that they are not badly affected by weeds and pests. “Again, knowing which types of plants to plant in different seasons is very important for our small garden farmers,” she said. She further mentioned that they’re also helping them on how to work with plant spacing.
One of the local backyard gardeners who attended the workshop, Mpoetsi Moletsane said she gained lot of information from the workshop.
“Thanks to everyone who came up with an idea of planning this workshop, I thought I knew everything about planting, only to find that I was lying to myself. From now on, my gardens will be neat and produce more crops,” said the mother of two.