According to Allafrica.com, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) said in a statement that the country should use the International Day of Rural Women to celebrate the contribution rural women make to food production, to improving food security and to the eradication of hunger and rural poverty.
Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said that rural women ensure that "their families and their communities receive a supply of food produced from smallholdings." She added that rural women mostly use indigenous technologies.
The DAFF aims to create employment opportunities by supporting smallholders and other potential employers in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. These opportunities form part of department's rural and agrarian reform. In order to produce food that is affordable, nutritious and plentiful, the statement says, it is necessary to focus, for example, on rural communities and especially, on rural women - enabling them to further invest in projects they have already started. The department has therefore set a target of establishing 15 000 smallholder producers with a particular focus on women.
Allafrica.com reports that the department's food production policy dovetails with the President's national priorities through DAFF's Masibambisane Rural Development Initiative - which has so far reached rural women in Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga rural provinces.
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