Approximately 300 women in agriculture sector from all nine provinces positively responded to a call by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD)Thoko Didiza to a symposium in commemoration of 2023 Women’s Day. Around thirty of them were coming from Limpopo. The event took place in the department’s new Tsitsikama building auditorium in Pretoria on 25 August 2023.
This number included internal government participants like DALRRD and its provincial departments representatives and Entities (NAMC, ARC, FRUITSA, OBP) and external government participants like: Small Business Development; DTIC – Agro-Processing Directorate; Tourism; Innovation Hub; CSIR; Municipalities; Women in Agriculture, Agribusiness and Agro-processing; Women Farmers Organizations, International Organizations (EDSE, FAO, etc.); Traditional Leaders; Financial Institutions; and exhibitors.
The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023 (IWD 2023) is, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. This theme is aligned with the priority theme of the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
This year Women’s Month was celebrated under the theme: “Improving food security, increasing production and employment and ensuring decency and inclusivity”. The symposium consisted of discussion panels focusing on the four thematic areas namely: Innovation and Technology (Smart farming), Upscaling Agro-processing for women in the sector, Upscaling Agro-processing for women in the sector and lastly the role of women in food and nutrition security.
It was a great honour and privilege to be invited for such a beautiful symposium. The cherry on top, was having the Minister looking at my product and gave herself time to hear me out. At this exhibition, I was showing off some of the products that this one special tree that we grow in addition with vegetables, can do. The tree is called Moringa….it has so much health benefits and also can be used as a tree to safe us as it is able to assimilate a lot of Carbon free the atmosphere, better than any agro forestry tree…. which make is good for climate change adaptations.
“We currently have an agreement with three countries, France, Netherlands and Dubai.
In France we have to supply 15 tons per month of Moringa dried leaves.
In Netherlands, we have to supply all Moringa waste a company that makes animal feed. That is 1000 tons of dried twigs, seed cake and pods that is left after taking the food grade.
In Dubai, we are yet to complete the agreement to supply both Moringa GIN and Moringa Kombucha.
We also are developing the local market of Moringa Pesto, oil, baby food and teas.
We would be so happy to share these with fellow farmers’’ said a farmer from Limpopo, Ms Nomsa Ngwenya.
By Pfumelani Tsedu