Farmers need water so people can eat

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Rural communities in Limpopo have told agriculture MEC Dikeledi Magadzi that they want to consolidate their age-old subsistence farming to counter food price hikes, but are concerned about a lack of water for irrigation that is hampering their efforts.

Many of them, who are already involved either in cattle or crop farming, said the lack of water stopped them from doing well in agriculture.

They asked the MEC to supply water to their agri-projects so that they could thrive on their produce and also make a living.

Residents of Ga-Shongoane near Lephalale told the MEC at an imbizo that their forefathers had depended on agriculture for survival and they wanted to look after themselves too .

Magadzi said the department had programmes in place to help them.

She said her department had always assisted farmers with boreholes for water, with safety and with access to loans where possible.

Magadzi said the department had a comprehensive agricultural support scheme in place.

Farmers were expected to forward their comprehensive plans and requests for help to the department, she said.

Grace Moraka, who lives at Thabo Mbeki village near Witpoort, said she was left to fend for herself and her siblings in the early 60s when her parents died in a car accident

She and her siblings were left with nothing and faced hunger and poverty.

"To give my siblings a better life, like anyone else in the community, I had to turn to agriculture and grow vegetables and maize, Moraka said.

"Today some of my sisters and brothers are professionals who have a story to tell."