Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer recently visited small-scale farmers in Ebenhaeser, in the Matzikama Municipality.
Two such farmers are Natasha Love and Niklaas Le Roux who are both supported by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA)
Natasha farms on two hectares. She produces Chenin Blanc grapes which is sold to Cederberg Cellar. The wine is then produced, bottled and exported to Sweden.
Natasha: “The Western Cape Department of Agriculture kindly took us by the hand to establish these vineyards. I currently have sixteen thousand vines on these two hectares. I want to increase this. The revitalisation of the Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme should provide ample opportunities for me to achieve this goal.”
Commenting on Natasha’s success Minister Meyer said: “Women are playing an increasingly important role in the agricultural sector in the Western Cape. Even a small vineyard of this kind can still be profitable. Agricultural production in the West Coast has increased phenomenally over the past two years, and we must encourage this growth.”
Niklaas Le Roux produces brassica seed (broccoli, cabbage and turnips). He supplies seeds to Syngenta Vegetable Seeds.
Niklaas: “This project was initiated and supported by the WCDoA. I have been a producer for Syngenta for a while and work closely with their technical advisors to ensure good quality seed. It is labour intensive. During harvest I employ up to twenty people.”
Minister Meyer: “The Western Cape Government values and supports farmers. Successful farmers are not only able to produce food, but also jobs. Jobs bring dignity to our people.”