We have just completed our third tranche of training at our Masakhane Community Farm, outside Gansbaai, in the Overberg of the Western Cape, in May of this year. Seventeen participants (16 females and one male) from Masakhane Township, completed the urban agriculture workshop in this session, bringing the total number of people through the course to 65.
The Masakhane Community Farm started a year ago with the purpose of introducing urban agriculture principals to the community. The project is based on offering initial training to community members and thereafter allocating allotments to the participants. Participants are provided with all the inputs for farming the allotment and are in turn able to take produce home or sell any surplus produce.
The workshop curriculum includes teaching participants composting, plant care, propagation, soil improvement as well as basic techniques that promote sustainable agricultural practises. On the last day of the workshop, everyone wrote a test and will receive a certificate of participation. The course curriculum has been endorsed by the Department of Agriculture and after having proven themselves on their allotments, participants will have support from the Department of Agriculture to set up their very own home gardens.
The hope is that this experience will assist and motivate participants to work towards creating a sustainable income source through growing and selling fresh produce from their community farm allotments and eventually their home gardens.
The training was facilitated by the dedicated Masakhane Community Farm team, Lily, Zokhanyo, Pontsho and Nwabisa. The teams highlight was seeing the progress and responses in the course test results. It is particularly rewarding to see that participants felt enriched with the additional skills and knowledge they had learnt through this experience.
There are plans in place for the establishment of a market at the entrance to Masakhane and hopefully this establishment will further promote the culture and practice of urban agriculture and ultimately sustainable livelihoods.