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American student grows food gardens in Alex

ALEXANDRA - An American student has been growing food gardens in Alexandra.

Alexandra has become a favourite turf for Americans involved in charity work.

Earlier in the year, US deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of African Affairs, Dr Reuben Brigety II paid a visit to Ingrid Moloi’s Ratang Bana project in Extension 9. This was to assess the project for possible funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.

The project was visited previously by two other American delegations to assist in its gardening programme which supplies food for the orphans and HIV/Aids infected and affected children in the project. Moloi, founder of Ratang Bana, also founded a team of these youngsters who ply their trade in the local league of the Alexandra Northrand Local Football Association.

Another American, Ashley Tryba, a 21-year-old research student, visited the project and gave her input in terms of environmentally-friendly vegetable growing methods, as she majors in environmental studies.

Tryba also spent time in Kliptown, Soweto, where she visited a similar project. “My current focus is researching what methods of growing food are most efficient in alleviating food insecurity on a wide scale.

“My theory is that smaller community-based farms and gardens will bring the product closer to the consumer, and therefore cheaper, more available, easily accessible and readily usable. It is also better for the soil to have smaller farms and gardens that utilise processes such as permaculture as opposed to mono-cropping,” she said.

Tryba said the advantage with community and urban farms was that it cut down on financial costs that came with transporting food from remote areas. “So to me, gardening and small-scale community farms are a win-win,” she said.

 

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