The ‘Heal the Land. Heal the People’ initiative will be launched on World Sustainable Gastronomy Day, which raises awareness on the role cooking can play in contributing to sustainable development in support of the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals.
The initiative is the brainchild of the Integra Trust, a special-purpose entity, which was established to advance climate-smart sustainable and regenerative agriculture. It is led by a host of leading academics and farmers who believe that regenerative agriculture can not only restore broken food production systems, but also, ultimately, South Africa’s citizens. In addition to a long list of benefits for farmers and their crops, regenerative practices help fight the climate crisis by pulling carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the ground.
Pictured clockwise from upper left: Resource economist Prof. James Blignaut, Absie Pantshwa from Fresh Yumm, chef and culinary commentator Errieda du Toit, farmer Dr Pieter Prinsloo, dietician Andrea du Plessis, soil scientist Dr Hendrik Smith, Tozie Zokufa from A Greener World South Africa, and executive chef Christiaan Campbell.
More than 30 of the nation’s top academics, regenerative farmers and other experts will on Thursday also participate in a webinar to officially launch ‘Heal the Land. Heal the People’. All the discussions will be led by directors of the Integra Group, including animal scientists prof. Heinz Meissner and Gerry Weber, soil scientist Cobus Roode, agronomists Fritz Otto and Gavin Olson, economists Prof. James Blignaut and Andrew Ardington, and Dr Pieter Prinsloo, a farmer and dentist. Registration to the free webinar
has just opened. Among the farmers and researchers who will join the event include Cocky Mokoka from Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng, Egon Zunckel from Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal, Charles Williams from Stellenbosch in the Western Cape and Bertie Coetzee from Prieska in the Northern Cape.
The impressive webinar lineup (see complete programme below) also boast talks by Dr Jaap Knott on Nepo mealie pap’s nutritional impact on South Africa’s staple food and society, whilst Khumo Magano will talk about the rehabilitation of mining areas. Integra has also managed to secure the participation of top chefs, retailers as well as restaurateurs, including chefs Christiaan Campbell and Errieda du Toit, and food activist Gary Jackson, the founder of Jackson’s Real Food Market.
Siwapiwe Madubela and Tshepo Morokong will speak about how the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved through regenerative agriculture in South Africa, whilst Erna Kruger is confirmed to speak about the impact of Covid-19, climate change resilience and regenerative agriculture on smallholder farmers. Andrew Ardington will discuss the benefits of food clubs in societies, and Khumo Magano will look at sustainable land reform in South Africa.
Organisers say the ‘Heal the Land. Heal the People’ manifesto will be signed digitally from early this week. In the manifesto, described as an initiative by ‘a likeminded value-driven community’, participants pledge to build a South Africa:
Click here to register your attendance for the webinar.
- where the old planted trees under which their young can sit;
- where the young would respect the old;
- where the ancient social fibre and culture of our collective people has been renewed;
- free from poverty, free from abuse, free from exploitation, free from malnutrition and hunger;
- where the dignity of its people is preserved;
- where the people are free to enjoy the fruit of their labour – produced by seeds, capital and labour from their own soil – of their own land;
- where the economy is based on the principles of justice and prudent management, fair and equitable reward, with robust, transparent and honourable institutions;
- which is a global leader in food security and the production of quality food for all its people; and
- protecting and growing its rich social and natural heritage.
Click here to view the full programme for the ‘Heal the Land. Heal the People’ webinar.
For more information email Prof. James Blignaut at az.oc.doofargetni@ofni or Dr Pieter Prinsloo at az.oc.staemedisgnal@reteip.