Farming bodies join hands to supply food aid after unrest

Farming bodies join hands to supply food aid after unrest
Eight pallets of citrus that was donated by a citrus farmer in the Nelspruit area. Photo: CGA
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Following the recent civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng that left many communities without access to basic staple food items, several agricultural organisations have joined forces to donate tons of food items to those in need.

According to Kathy Hurly, programme manager at the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu), 4t of basic staple food items had so far been donated and would be distributed to a community of 400 people in the Oribi Flats area, as well as another 400 residents in the Creighton community.

In addition, Senwes has made an additional donation of almost 33t of 10kg bags of maize meal, which will be distributed to areas in need, from the Agri Value Chain Food Umbrella programme that was set up for exactly this type of humanitarian disaster, she said.

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According to Hurly, surveys were conducted in the 31 rural towns affected by the unrest to determine the extent of the damage and evaluate the needs of the various communities.

“This allowed Kwanalu to prioritise the towns in and surrounding the ‘milk belt’ of the province namely Creighton, Donnybrook, Ixopo, Highflats, Bulwer, Impendle and Harding.”

She added that these donations would be supplemented by further donations to make up a “25kg pack that should keep a family of four going for a month”.

The donated food products would then be distributed through Kwanalu’s partners that included Agri SA, Agbiz, WeAreSouthAfricans, Toyota Knights, the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa’s (CGA) Orange Hearts, REMAX of SA, HelloChoice that is part of Standard Bank’s OneFarmShare programme, and the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa.

“Our work at Kwanalu will continue into the next months, [and will move] from humanitarian assistance to restoration of the businesses in these rural towns.”

Sive Silo, project manager of Orange Hearts at CGA, said the boxes contained basic household necessities such as maize meal, long life milk, tinned foods, cooking oil and flour.

She added that the donations would be directly distributed to the affected communities, with more communities in need of assistance being identified.

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