NW campaign fosters care of the land

The North West Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment has just wrapped up an awareness campaign aimed increasing communities’ awareness of land care issues in the province.
Issue Date: 9 March 2007

The North West Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment has just wrapped up an awareness campaign aimed increasing communities’ awareness of land care issues in the province. The Landcare project was sponsored by the Australian government with the national Department of Agriculture, and set out to highlight the importance of understanding social issues in order to get small farmers and rural communities to adopt a culture of caring for the land. The campaign, which targeted over 1 500 participants such as project members, youth and farming communities, was launched in response to problems that agriculture in the province faces, such as bush encroachment resulting from overgrazing, livestock water allocation and the low nutrient status of soil. There was also a growing concern that communities were not participating in land care, which resulted in a lack of ownership of projects. The programme took the form of workshops, presented at seven local development centres. “The programme’s main objective is to improve and conserve the condition of natural resources in North West province through various reclamation techniques and management systems for increased animal and crop production,” explained MEC for the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment Mandlenkosi Mayisela. “It is also intended to make people aware of the sustainable use of natural resources as this optimises the productivity and sustainability of resources. The benefits then include greater land productivity, food security, job creation and a better life for all,” he said. – Gwenda van Zyl