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AgriSETA’s CEO inspires churches, households, and schools

Published: Thursday, November 9, 2023

Education TrainingCommunity AffairsAgriculture Community Development

Dr Innocent Sirovha, AgriSETA’s CEO, is dedicated to enabling every household and church in South Africa to have their own backyard food garden. His mission is to combat hunger, foster economic independence, and champion environmental sustainability by empowering people to cultivate their own produce.

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AgriSETA’s CEO inspires churches, households, and schools

Dr Innocent Sirovha, AgriSETA’s CEO, is dedicated to enabling every household and church in South Africa to have their own backyard food garden. His mission is to combat hunger, foster economic independence, and champion environmental sustainability by empowering people to cultivate their own produce.

by Staff Reporter - 9th November 2023 - in Inspiration-  Reading Time: 3 mins read

Growing futures: AgriSETA’s CEO, Dr Innocent Sirovha, is igniting a green revolution across homes and churches. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

In the sun-kissed corners of South Africa, where community spirit runs deep, a quiet revolution is taking root. Driven by the simple yet profound belief in the power of agriculture, Dr Innocent Sirovha, the CEO of AgriSETA, has ignited a movement that is slowly but surely transforming households, churches, and lives across the nation.

His vision, encapsulated in the words “One household, one garden. One church, one garden, one school, one garden” resonates with the fundamental truth that the seeds of change are often sown in our own backyards.

This initiative, he emphasises, “is not just about growing crops; it’s about cultivating self-reliance, community resilience, and a deep respect for the land that sustains us all.”

For Sirovha, the initiative is a reminder that change starts at home, within the communities that form the backbone of our society. Having grown up in the Khakhanwa village in Venda, Limpopo, he realised from a young age that households, churches and schools in rural communities should cultivate their own food gardens.

“Ensuring food security at the grassroots level is paramount,” he said. “By empowering them to grow their own fresh produce, we are not only addressing hunger but also promoting economic independence and community resilience.”

Cultivating food gardens and agricultural education

Sirovha further underscored the economic empowerment aspect, stating, “Cultivating food gardens provides an opportunity for families to save money that would otherwise be spent on purchasing vegetables and fruits. Additionally, surplus produce can be sold in local markets or even to each other, creating a value chain that is often found in the township communities. These efforts create small-scale economic opportunities for these communities.”

He further emphasised, “Every rural school in South Africa should have agriculture as a subject. As AgriSETA, we have put aside R49.6 million for bursaries at agricultural colleges. We don’t want to be a very good English-speaking country, but very hungry."