The City of Johannesburg has partnered with United Way South Africa (UWSA) to assist emerging farmers across all regions graduate from subsistence to semi-commercial farming.
UWSA is a non-profit organisation that connects sectors of society to long term social change.
The partnership will see about 300 farmers acquiring skills which will enable them to access markets, including the value chain of agro processing.
Speaking during the signing of the partnership, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Cllr Mpho Phalatse welcomed the partnership and said it would make a positive impact on the lives of emerging farmers across the city.
MMC Phalatse said it was important to partner with organisations that are “in it for a long haul” and transfer the skills to those who were previously marginalised.
“Food security and sustainable businesses are key elements in our drive to empower emerging famers. We hope that this partnership will further improve the lives of our people,” said the MMC.
Since 2013, the City has developed 2 000 hectares for large farms and 27 000 communal gardens across the city’s seven regions through the Food Resilience Programme spearheaded by the Department of Social Development.
The establishment of a large Empowerment Zone at Eikenhoff created a platform for 32 cooperatives established by food insecure families to become farmers. The cooperatives have been able to produce and sell their vegetable and chickens to formal and informal markets across the city.
These farmers are involved in crop, poultry and piggery production. The success and progress in the farm has attracted partners such as City Parks and Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Department to invest R 6million and R 5million respectively.