The land is ours – let’s work it

Mail & Guardian - - News -

I have a farm, which I started about a year ago. It’s not much land — about three acres — but it’s some­thing. When the whole #Black­Mon­day thing hap­pened last week, there were th­ese farm­ers block­ing traf­fic and stuff to protest th­ese mur­ders and I get that.

No­body should be killed. No­body. We’ve been talk­ing about the land is­sue, but for me the big is­sue is peo­ple aren’t look­ing at pieces of land and say­ing: “I want some of that be­cause my fam­ily is hun­gry.”

Yes, most of the re­ally pro­duc­tive land is still in the hands of white peo­ple, but the #Black­Mon­day thing made me re­alise that now is the time for us as black peo­ple to re­ally get in there — even if it is just by start­ing with plant­ing veg­eta­bles in our back­yards.

In ad­di­tion to this farm, I also started plant­ing veg­eta­bles in my back­yard at home — beet­root, spinach, spring onion — and that tiny space cre­ated quite a big yield.

So, imag­ine if ev­ery­one did that and had their fam­ily mem­bers plant dif­fer­ent veg­gies, you could feed en­tire fam­i­lies and even start sell­ing.

Yes, there is a lot of red tape when ap­ply­ing for a piece of farm­land — and you do need money — but I don’t think there is any­thing re­ally stop­ping us from get­ting in there. If the in­ter­est and the will are there, all of us can get in there. Be­cause if you start in your back­yard, you’ll even­tu­ally see the need to scale up and try to get ac­cess to more land.

That’s the way we’ll get go­ing. That’s the land con­ver­sa­tion I’d like us to be hav­ing. I be­lieve the land thing will hap­pen or­gan­i­cally if we start talk­ing about what we’re go­ing to do with it. #Black­Mon­day made me see that now is the time for us to start.

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