Short chain food security


I am working with a urban micro farming organisation in the townships that grow vegetables for own consumption (Abalimi Bezekhaya). We also provide a platform for farmers to sell their vegetables and gain income (Harvest of Hope).

My question is how do we ensure that these farmers are not reliant on our funding and support, but become more independent over time? These farmers carry all the risk of producing the vegetables in very difficult circumstances, yet there are huge overheads to try to get these produce to market.

How do we ensure that the small scale urban farmers learn to be independent when they competing with large scale commercial farmers? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.


Keep up the great work Grace!
I don’t really have much to add in terms of experience here, but I must say that I am always impressed by ‘cooperative’ structures in rural communities. Perhaps the co-op model in the supply of farming goods and services can help communities assume more ownership?


Thanks @Francois_Retief - Yes we are also looking at establishing formal co-ops to help with market access of produce, but that seems to be quite complicated. There seems to be such a big need for actual business development going hand-in-hand with the urban farming skills, maybe this is where the focus needs to lie in getting the farmers more resilient.

By the way - if you not busy you can join us for Mandela Day - see


Hi Grace,

Have you thought of looking into what using an app could do to potentially make logistics easier? I just found out about someone in Joburg who is doing something similar and has developed an app - . Might be worth connecting with them to see if they could share lessons learned or maybe even a success story and possible collaboration?