When the Expropriation Bill was Gazetted for public comment around this time last year, many budding, but struggling small-scale farmers rejoiced.
For them it meant that land would be made available to pursue farming on a larger scale.
One of these farmers is Dorothy Mapasure, who believed that land freed up by the state would enable her to move her farming operation from beyond the backyard.
Mapasure, who is from Lichtenburg in the North West, had turned her garden into a huge vegetable patch. She grows spinach, cabbage, green pepper and lettuce.
She decided to start farming two years ago to supplement her husband’s income.
“As a housewife and a mother, and someone that has no income I fell in love with fresh produce,” she told Vutivi News.
“As someone that loves cooking for her family, I always need all my ingredients to be fresh. When I shopped around, I would find fresh vegetables, but most of them are quite expensive.”
Mapasure then decided to start planting vegetables for her family. But soon people started flocking to her yard from church and different organisations.
“People started recommending that I plant other vegetables besides spinach,” she said.
“I also compared the spinach that other retailers provided, and realised that if I can produce the same size of spinach for a cheaper price, then I would be able to feed a family and give them the opportunity to be able to afford a healthy eating lifestyle.”
Mapasure wants the Expropriation Bill legalised, as she believed it would make a difference especially for women who wanted to be in the farming sector.
“I feel like there is a certain part of a woman that feels like every child and every family should be able to eat fresh and affordable vegetables,” she said.
“If I am able to produce and sell at a large quantity, I would be able to reach as many children as I can and be able to feed them. I would also be able to benefit from the land that the state frees, because my dream is to do farming on a larger scale than what I am currently doing.”
The public participation process on the Bill has been extended to July next year. One of the contentious issues is expropriating land without compensation.
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