Budget speech affirms agriculture as the saviour

Finance minister, Enoch Godongwana during the medium term budget speech.
Finance minister, Enoch Godongwana during the medium term budget speech.
Image: Esa Alexander

The recent delivery of the medium-term budget policy statement by the minister of finance Enoch Godongwana, particularly the part where he spoke about the agricultural spinoffs, gave cues to the citizens that agriculture is the saviour.

The speech clearly indicated that agriculture has boosted the economic outlook of the country, expanding by 8.3 percent in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 and it is set to grow for a second consecutive year. If agriculture can boost the economy, it can also boost your household spending.

The rise of petrol prices indicates that commodity prices will inflate, and that includes food and this will have a ripple effect to all the households, particularly to low income South Africans. Furthermore, the scourge of Covid-19 has left a lot of South Africans without jobs, with the government cushioning the citizens by introducing the Covid-19 relief grant.

However, the government help alone can only help that much, while keeping a job is hard as industries keep retrenching. Finding a way to make extra income or redirect money is crucial. Some of the staple vegetables that are enjoyed by South Africans, like cabbage, spinach, potatoes and onion can grow on any soil type, thus making it easy for home growing.

While recycling and reusing can assist in reducing carbon footprint which was the hot topic in the recently concluded COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, this can also help in your little garden. Using vegetable peels and fruit remains to create your own manure can go a long way in fertilising your garden.

Growing vegetables at the backyard garden can help cut costs and money that can be redirected to other needs. I commend the agricultural sector, particularly the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development for leading the way in boosting the economy and thereby eradicating hunger.

Sinazo Alungile Novukela, Arcadia, Pretoria

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