Between 14 October and 7 November, NGOs across the country are commemorating International Rural Women’s Day and World Food Day on 15 and 16 October. We will pay tribute to rural women all over the world who produce between 60 and 80% of food. We urge the government of South Africa to prioritize the needs of the rural poor by fast tracking land reform and confronting water inequality. We call upon you, readers, to amplify the plea of rural women and men for land and water for food. Read on to find an event near you.
If you don’t have water, you can’t grow crops. If you can’t grow food, you have to buy it. If you don’t have money, your family won’t eat. If your children are hungry they can’t concentrate. If they don’t do well in class, they will fail their exams. If they drop out of school they struggle to find work. If they are unemployed they go hungry and will suffer ill health. This is the cycle of poverty. This is the reality of millions of rural women and men in South Africa.
21 years into democracy, inequality and poverty still reigns supreme. Our survey in 12 rural Municipalities showed that 1 in 4 households go hungry and that half the population is at risk of hunger. Many rural households are farming but only 2% earns income from selling their produce. Rural women and men are constrained by land, having less than 2 hectares, and access to water. 10% of large water users use 70-90% of water. 1,2% of rural households are large-scale commercial farmers who use a total of 95% of water in agriculture. Instead of regulating large users the Government wants small food producers to apply for water licenses and charge them high rates.
14-15 Oct Okhahlamba – Farmers resilience for climate and food security
Sivusimpilo Okhahlamba Farmers Forum and the Farmer Support Group will host a platform for sharing and demonstrating farming practices for climate and food security. Smallholder farmers from Msinga, Escourt, and Swayimane will join to share and learn for resilience. Venue: Amazizi and Amangwane traditional areas.
Contact Avrashka Sahadeva at 0332606275 or firstname.lastname@example.org
15 Oct Pietermaritzburg – Launch of 2015 Food Price Barometer
PACSA will release the findings of their Annual Food Price Barometer study. The report consolidates and making sense of food prices over the past year in the context of the broader socio and political economy. The report and media statement are available after the event on www.pacsa.org.za. Venue: Imperial Protea Hotel
Contact: Julie Smith at 033 3420052 or email@example.com
15-16 Oct East London – Small-scale farmers defend food systems from multi-nationals
The South African Network on Inequality (SANI) presents two days of farmer displays, launch of cross-country case studies, and discussion to empower small-scale farmers and sensitize the public on the impact of multi-national corporations on our food systems. Venue: East London ICC
Contact Sibulele Poswayo at 021 4249563 or firstname.lastname@example.org
16 Oct Johannesburg – Food Sovereignty Festival
From 8AM to 8PM the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign is hosting a festival to celebrate food sovereignty and people’s alternatives to an unjust food system. Venue: The Greenhouse Project
Contact Andrew Bennie at 011 447 1013 or email@example.com
16 Oct Pongola – AgroEcology for Life
Biowatch and the Impisethenjuni Project will celebrate nutritious food produced by local farmers. Agro-ecological practices are showcased and sampled. Venue: Emagengeni Community Hall
Contact Allison Myeza at 031 2062954 or Allison@biowatch.org.za
17 Oct Wolseley – Women demand Land for Food
Women farm workers from the Cape Winelands District Municipality and Women on Farms Project will host an event to pay tribute to women food producers and showcase South African culture through song and dance. The event will celebrate the contribution of rural women to food production and raise global awareness about the persistence of food insecurity in South Africa and many other parts of the world. Venue: Witzenberg Guest Farm
Contact: Roseline Engelbrecht at 021 8872960 or firstname.lastname@example.org
20-22 Oct Hessequa – National Agro-Ecological Food Producers Platform
Agro-ecological producers and small-scale stockfarmers of Eden with the Southern Cape Land Committee will host a platform for sharing of agro-ecological practices and exchanging seeds and produce. Venue: Riversdale, Western Cape
Contact Gloria Pockpass at 0448039900 or Gloria@sclc.co.za
29-30 Oct Johannesburg/Pretoria – The Rural Women’s Assembly’s long march
Rural women will gather in Gauteng for two days starting with a night vigil on 29 Oct at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg. The following morning, rural women will hold a march from Freedom Park to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, tracing part of the 1956 women’s march.
7 Nov Tolwe Limpopo – Women farm dwellers demand One Woman One Hectare
At 10h00 Nkuzi Development Association will commemorate International Rural Women’s Day, World Food Day and Farm Dweller Book Launch. We expect a hundred women from communities affected by mining, living on commercials, small scale farmers and land claimants. Venue: Tolwe
Contact Nkuzi at 015 2976972 or email@example.com
Tshintsha Amakhaya is an alliance of rural women and men who are supported by NGOs in land rights and agriculture. We have joined hands to defend our democratic right to decent living and working conditions. We want to change the agricultural landscape so that we all have choice what food to buy, where it comes from, and where it is sold. We ask you to support us, so we can work together for rural change. That is what Tshintsha Amakhaya stands for.
Contact: Monique Salomon at 033 2606275 or firstname.lastname@example.org