South Africa: Western Cape Agriculture Distributes Indigenous Trees to Restore Ecological Infrastructure
Yesterday, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, donated indigenous trees to various organizations during the Western Department of Agriculture’s (WCDoA’s) annual Nursery Day held at the Veld Reserve in Worcester.
Beneficiaries included the West Coast region of the Women’s Agricultural Society, Bonnies People Project, Seed2Harvest and Fairtrade Africa.
Speaking at the event, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer said that the indigenous tree nursery was one of the WCDoA’s interventions to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Minister Meyer: “The nursery cultivates and grows indigenous trees that can then be put back into their original environment.”
“We are effectively implementing the Western Cape’s smart agri plan through this ecological infrastructure project. Managing the risk of climate change means putting in place mitigating measures such as smart agriculture and the restoration of our ecological infrastructure.”
WC DoA’s District Manager for the Cape Winelands, Rudolph Röscher, highlights farmers’ vital role in the project.
“We have 76 farmers throughout 80 kilometres of river actively participating, doing alien clearing, restoring our rivers. At this Nursery, we produce 12 000 trees annually, and with the assistance of farmers and various other organizations, we plant them back into our river systems.”
Fairtrade Africa’s Emma Patentia, whose project Dignity for All focuses on 27 wine farms in the Western Cape, thanked the WCDoA and Breeekloof Wines and Tourism for donating trees.
Patentia: “Protecting the environment is one of Fairtrade Africa’s focus areas.”
“This is an exciting project that we are starting with the Department to address the challenge of climate change. We do not only focus on the people but also the environment. All our members are committed to looking after the environment.”
West Coast Vroue-Landbouvereniging’s (VLV) Maggie Enever received 100 trees, which she will distribute to VLV members across the West Coast.
Enever: We have taken up the challenge to plant 1000 indigenous trees. Today we kick off the challenge with the donation of 100 trees, which we will be distributing over 14 West Coast towns.”
“The restoration of ecological infrastructure is a cost-effective means of adapting to climate change and at a landscape level also offer substantial employment opportunities that are realized.
“In 2020, the WCDoA’s Landcare Programme rehabilitated 34 352 ha of agricultural land and created 1101 green jobs,” concludes Meyer.
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