Supported by the national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), the Farmer Field School is teaching elderly farmers from Limpopo practical farming skills. The programme targets the Greater Letaba, BaPhalaborwa and Maruleng local municipalities and aims to promote food security by teaching the elderly how to farm and use good food production practices.
The programme enables more experienced farmers to teach members of their community how to grow the best food possible. The farmers say they have figured out a system that enables them to overcome their differences and work together so they learn from one another.
Ivy Moagi of the Lorraine Farmer Field School said they have been trained in crop and vegetable farming. “Through a combination of indigenous and scientific practices, we manage to produce food for our families, our crops include potatoes and maize,” she said.
Those who are participating in the programme say that the programme has its challenges. They explained that sometimes they battle to market their produce. “Although at this stage we are not producing large quantities of crops, we already have a challenge with our small surplus,” added the participants.
DALRRD hopes to expand the programme nationally to help ensure a food-secure population. In addition, Extension Officers from the department are also involved in farmer training. Interested people can contact the national agriculture department by visiting www.dalrrd.gov.za, or visiting their nearest DALRRD office.