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From the Township Garden to the City TableDanielle Nierenberg for Salem-News.com
“To grow these vegetables here for me, first, is a life” - Christina Kaba, a farmer working with HoH
(CAPE TOWN, South Africa) - Around 1 million people in South Africa—the majority of whom are recent arrivals from the former apartheid homelands, Transkei and Ciskei— live in the shacks that make up Khayelitsha, Nyanga and the area surrounding the Cape Flats outside Cape Town. Just under half, or 40 percent, of the population is unemployed, while the rest barely earn enough income to feed their families.
With support from the Ackerman Pick n’Pay Foundation, and in partnership with the South African Institute of Entrepreneurship (SAIE) and the Business Place Philippi, Abalimi Bezekhaya founded Harvest of Hope (HoH) in 2008. HoH purchases the surplus crops from 14 groups of farmers working in Abalimi Bezekhaya’s community plots, packages them in boxes and delivers them to selected schools where parents can purchase them to take home.
For families in Cape Town, HoH means fresh vegetables instead of the older, and often imported, produce at the grocery store. But for families of the farmers working with Hope of Harvest, it means much more. “To grow these vegetables here for me, first, is a life,” said Christina Kaba, a farmer working with HoH in a video about the project. “Second, is how you can give to your family without asking anyone for a donation for money or food. Here you are making money, you are making food.”
To read more about innovations that bring produce to cities, see: Vertical Farms: Finding Ways to Grow Food in Kibera, Growing Food in Urban “Trash,” Creating a Market for the Taste of Home, Looking for an Answer in the Private Sector, and Reducing Wastewater Starts with a Conversation.
Source: Worldwatch Institute
Emphasizing on the ground research, project co-director Danielle Nierenberg is currently traveling throughout sub-Saharan Africa to meet with farmers, farmers groups, local government representatives, funders, and NGO’s. You can follow her research and the resulting conversations on the Nourishing the Planet blog: http://www.nourishingtheplanet.org
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