According to a report compiled by the United Nations, at least one in five South Africans live in extreme poverty and struggle to feed themselves and their families. Recently, Uthando, an award-winning Fair Trade in Tourism certified NPO stepped up to take action to combat hunger through urban micro-farming – a move that is uplifting local communities and helping to nutritiously fill countless hungry tummies across the country.
What is urban micro-farming?
Urban micro-farming refers to a type of small-scale farming that is undertaken in urban or suburban areas. The difference is that the people who grow the produce don’t require much space to yield a significant harvest. In fact, most micro-farming usually takes place on less than two hectares of land.
How Uthando has made a difference
While having supported urban micro-farming for many years already, Uthando made a massive difference within disadvantaged communities in 2020 in particular thanks to the NPO’s swift action when the true threat of COVID and an impending lockdown were first realised. As such, during the final two weeks of March 2020, the team took action to fund various micro-farming operations to ensure that, come winter, there would be harvests of healthy, organic vegetables to supply some of the country’s most vulnerable communities.
Just a few of the micro-farming operations that have benefitted from Uthando’s guidance, support, and financial assistance include:
- Ikhaya “Home” Garden, Cape Flats: This thriving vegetable garden is situated at Isikhokelo Primary School, helping to feed many hungry school children every year.
- Moya We Khaya “Spirit of Home” Garden, Khayelitsha: Uthando assisted the garden team to create food parcels for struggling members of the community throughout COVID and organised an educational garden tour of Babylonstoren farm.
- Schools Environmental Education and Development (SEED), Mitchells Plain: These gardens support feeding schemes, regularly feeding over 670 local residents.
- Siyazama “we are trying” Garden, Khayelitsha: Uthando has supported this urban micro garden since 2009. The weekly support has made it possible for the team to buy garden tools, a vegetable scale, manure and compost, seedlings and seeds.
Keen to assist?
All those who are in a position to assist local communities with nurturing their urban micro-farming programmes are encouraged to make donations of gardening equipment and supplies to small-scale farmers in their area. If particularly skilled in or passionate about gardening, please consider donating your time to upskilling micro-farmers and/or volunteering in local urban micro gardens! You too can make a difference.