The Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, launched the 2022 Western Cape Prestige Agri-Awards and the Agri-Worker Household Census Dashboard.
The annual Western Cape Prestige Agri-Awards (WCPAA) acknowledges the valuable and vital contribution that agri-workers make to the sustainability and growth of the agricultural sector in the Western Cape.
Agri-workers compete against each other in 11 different categories at the regional level. Regional winners proceed to the provincial level to compete for the coveted title of Western Cape Agri-worker of the Year. Prize money includes an overseas trip. Shoprite is the main sponsor of the competition.
“The recent commemoration of Workers Day on 1 May, is the perfect opportunity to highlight the importance of our agricultural workers and acknowledge their invaluable contribution to the agricultural sector. Growing and transporting produce along the value chain is a labour of love, hard work and sacrifice. Feeding the millions of people in our communities would not be possible without the men and women who keep that chain moving. Agri-workers impact our lives every day. They plant, nurture, pick, pack, keep grocery stores stocked, and provide access to healthy food for our communities,” said Meyer.
Census and Prestige awards launched
Commenting on the Agri-Worker Household Census (AWHHC) Dashboard launch, Meyer said that the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) completed two iterations of the census between 2014 and April 2021. These provide essential information on the assistance and social support services required by agri-worker households.
“With the launch of the AWHHC dashboard, this information is now readily available to inform interventions and initiatives to improve the livelihoods of agri-worker communities. The database allows for responsive interventions to the challenges and needs of agri-worker households. Those which fall outside the remit of the WCDoA are referred to the appropriate Department and service providers.”
“Innovation is at the centre of everything we do. The WCDoA is the only Agricultural Department with a dedicated programme on agri-worker issues. The value of caring drives our agri-worker competition and the agri-worker household census.”
“Today, I also listened with empathy and compassion to matters affecting agriculture and agri-workers in the Western Cape. This is in line with our undertaking to talk less and listen more to our stakeholders,” he says.
ALSO READ: Western Cape’s Prestige Agri Awards winner announced
Audrey September from the farm Uitkyk in the Bergrivier region was announced as the 2021 Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards winner at the annual competition held on Saturday,13 November 2021, in Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands. September won prizes to the value of approximately R100 000, including an overseas study tour.
A total of 624 agri-workers representing 11 regions and competing in 11 categories participated this year. Regional winners are: Usokarl Lof (Bergrivier); Jafta Joseph (Witzenberg); Joseph Samuels (Stellenbosch); Enrico Cornelius (Garden Route); Ruaan Ludick (Central Karoo); Lee-Ann Barron (Piket Bo Berg); Naomi Muller (Franschhoek); Deon Samuels (Franschhoek); Audrey September (Bergrivier) and André Plaatjies (Hexvallei).
Shoprite Freshmark has been the main sponsor of the Agri-Awards competition since 2012. Pieter van Zyl, General Manager: Procurement at Shoprite Freshmark, said: “Shoprite is just one of the links in the agricultural value chain that starts in the orchards or on the fields and ends on the housewife’s plate. The agricultural workers are not only the 1st link but also the anchor of the whole chain. Their love and passion for agriculture have struck me most in the last couple of years. Shoprite is proud to be associated with this great competition.”
WATCH: Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards Competition