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Growing Food, Farmers and Futures: Enhancing Food Security And Household Nutrition With Farmers in the eThekwini Region

Food & Trees for Africa’s KwaZulul-Natal branch has provided training, support, skills development and mentorship to 60 small scale farmers within the eThekwini Region from 2015 to 2018 through the Farmer Eco-Enterprise Development (FEED) Africa Programme.

The sites range from 0,5ha to 16ha. Training workshops were conducted to assist the farmers to upskill from subsistence to semi-commercial level. At the end of the three year programme, 65% of thefarmers reached a level of consistent production, regular offtakes and steady supply to outlets. Farmers are re-invested profits into purchasing planting inputs and practiced good financial management. Focus sectors of training included woman empowerment, youth, scholars and the disabled communities. The implementation of the FEED model boosted food security by improving household access to fresh vegetables, established market opportunities for farmers, reduced dependency by promoting self-sustainability, increased agricultural land usage, boosted the morale of the farmers and increased productivity through site-specific training and mentorship.

Farmers who received mentoring from FTFA accomplished the following: Usizolomphakathi from KwaMashu won the first prize at the Durban Business fair in August 2018. Emvelo-wise youth group received tools, trees and planting inputs from funds generated by FTFA as the official carbon offset partner of the World Economic Forum on Africa in 2017. The farmers gained independence to manage their production and supply chain. Farmers were afforded the opportunity to sell their produce at Shoprite and Checkers market days in 2017 and 2018. An opportunity to sell produce to supply the National Schools Nutrition Programme arose for 15 sites. These 15 sites produced crops to meet the Departmental requirements. 60% of the sites supplied produce regularly to the various Municipal Bulk Markets. Strict quality control measures were implemented to meet the bulk market requirements. Farmers established relationships and agreements with the market agents and local retailers. The growth in production impacted their financial status and household livelihood positively.

Food & Trees for Africa is proud of the opportunity to be eThekwini Municipality’s food security partner from 2015 to 2018.