Connecting Low Income South African Urban Farmers to Sustainable Economic Opportunities

United Way South Africa (UWSA) in collaboration with the City of Johannesburg (CoJ), Department of Social Development (DSD), Food Resilience Unit, is currently implementing the Urban Agriculture Programme (UAP) for 600 small holder farmers across the Johannesburg region. The project is aimed at supporting farmers with business and technical skills as well as access to markets. In doing so, it will address issues surrounding poverty alleviation, food security and nutrition, employment creation, and small business development. 
Our focus is to capacitate farmers and their organisations into sustainable farming businesses that supply large clients through long term offtake agreements.
The programme offers training on;
- Business and technical skills training, 
- quality management 
- production planning 
- Access to markets
In South Africa, only 10% of R60 Billion horticulture industry is made up of black small holder farmers:
o             Infrastructure: lack of water, irrigation equipment, and access to land parcels.
o             Production: most farming cooperatives produce less than 50% of their capacity.
o             Access to markets: farmers cannot meet the quality, quantity and consistency required by large buyers.
o             Business skills: lack of basic business skills (marketing & sales, record keeping, budgeting, benchmarking & overall project management).
o             Technical skills: farmers lack a consistent farming methodology to maximize yield & ensure product quality.
o             Lack of coordination: farmers often implement different projects, dividing their time & commitment from their core farming business.
We aim to capacitate and graduate small and start-up farming organizations into sustainable businesses that can be scaled up into commercial farms that will supply grocers, restaurants and corporate partners.
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