Mama Afrika feeds the nation

first_imgThe skills taught include basic cooking skills as well as advanced courses and more specialised courses such as cake baking and cake decorating, as well as flower arranging and various forms of art like mosaic art. (Image: Clover Mama Afrika, via Facebook)Women are often the ties that bind communities together, and are usually the people who care for those in need. This is particularly true for women living in underprivileged communities where banding together and supporting each other is often crucial to survival.The Clover Mama Afrika project identifies such women around the country and then supports them to become self-sustaining by providing and further developing their skills so that they can generate an income. This income helps them to support their communities and care for orphaned and abused children as well as the sick and elderly.Professor Elain Vlok, Clover’s manager of corporate services, is responsible for driving the Clover Mama Afrika initiative. Her passion, dedication and insight have led to the success of the initiative. Vlok believes that the programme’s on-going success is built on a generosity of spirit that is the very essence of ubuntu or “human kindness”.Established in 2004, the award-winning Clover Mama Afrika initiative has strived to restore some of the qualities of African tradition into modern life.“The wonder of this project is that we get people away from begging,” Vlok explains. “We help them to become sustainable. They can now bake their own fresh loaves of bread to feed their own people before they start selling the bread.”Apart from basic baking, the organisation also offers the women the opportunity to learn other skills through partnerships with groups such as Pick n Pay’s Good Food Studios, Chipkins and Food Creations.These skills include basic cooking skills as well as advanced courses and more specialised courses such as cake baking and cake decorating, as well as flower arranging and various forms of art.GET INVOLVEDIf you want to get involved in the activities of Clover Mama Afrika, visit its website for more details on how you can play a part in the ongoing growth and development of South Africa’s women and communities.If you’re interested in donating to the cause, look at the organisation’s wish list to get an idea of what resources it needs most. These include donations of money as well as nappies, toiletries and non-perishable foods.Through the initiative, individuals who think they fit the bill are able to become a Mama; if you are interested, email Clover Mama Afrika at [email protected] or call the group on 011 471 1431.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part to help improve the lives of the people around you or the environment? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

Senate passes 2018 Farm Bill, sets stage for final passage this year

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On June 28 the Senate passed its version of the 2018 farm bill with a bipartisan vote of 86-11. The House passed its version on June 21. The two measures will now be reconciled before a final version is sent to President Trump for his signature.“Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow worked with other members of the Senate Agriculture Committee to deliver a bill that will continue to provide the risk management tools that America’s farmers need more than ever before. And the fact that Leader McConnell agreed this should be a legislative priority helped move this very important bill forward in the Senate,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “Of course, no bill is ever perfect, but this bipartisan effort gives us a solid framework for progress. We do have concerns about some of the provisions that were added to the bill that make it harder for farmers to manage risk, but we are confident that those issues can be satisfactorily addressed by the House/Senate conference committee. We look forward to working with conferees from both houses to get the best possible farm bill done for rural America.”The National Corn Growers Association was pleased with the robust federal crop insurance program included in the bill. The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) was supportive of the $100 million in additional funding for the dairy title baseline. The Senate version of the Farm Bill contains enhancements to the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) sought by NMPF, including improved coverage levels and greater program flexibility.The Senate bill — which renames the MPP as the “Dairy Risk Coverage” program — raises the maximum covered margin to $9 per cwt. and adjusts the minimum percentage of milk that can be insured. It also includes an important agreement reached between NMPF and the International Dairy Foods Association on price risk management. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Bob Casey (D-PA) included provisions in the bill that promote the consumption of fluid milk. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) included provisions of her Dairy Business Innovation Act in the bill to help foster innovation and new opportunities for the dairy industry.Kevin Kester, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, pointed out the Senate’s rejection of an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill offered by U.S. Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Cory Booker (N.J.) that sought to undermine commodity “checkoff” programs.“The rejection of this amendment is a win for America’s cattle producers, who voluntarily created and continue to overwhelmingly support the beef checkoff system. Legislation like the Lee-Booker amendment is largely pushed by militant vegans and extreme political organizations that essentially want to end animal agriculture,” Kester said. “We’re happy that producers can continue to lead the checkoff system and contract with whatever producer-led groups will best promote beef consumption and research.”The Senate bill also contains conservation provisions that will help producers access technical and financial assistance to carry out conservation practices on their operations. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) added a helpful amendment to give farmers greater flexibility in meeting their goals under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.Under the trade title, the Senate version of the 2018 Farm Bill also re-authorizes the trade promotion programs.As part of the Farm Bill, the Senate passed two amendments offered by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), including:An amendment by Portman and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to ensure that Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, can access funding under the Farm Bill that is available for 1890 land-grant institutions. Central State University is currently unable to receive the same level of federal funding as other historically black colleges, and this amendment would ensure that all 1890 land-grant intuitions are treated equal.An amendment by Portman and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) to promote rural community economic development, innovation, and broadband integration. Specifically, the Portman-Cortez Masto amendment would codify the Council on Rural Community Innovation to help promote policies that use technological innovation to resolve challenges related to health care, law enforcement, housing, and telecommunications. The amendment would also establish a Rural Broadband Integrated Working Group within the Council.Senator Sherrod Brown, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee, pushed for the inclusion of several items in the bill including: the Local Food and Regional Market Supply (FARMS) Act designed to assist farmers in selling products directly to consumers, creating rural jobs, and investing in local and regional food economies; and the Give Our Resources the Opportunity to Work (GROW) Act to improve water quality in Lake Erie and across Ohio by refocusing federal investments to improve water quality and soil health.last_img read more