South Africa: Young Agripreneur Joins Growing Army of Urban Farmers

South Africa: Young Agripreneur Joins Growing Army of Urban Farmers

South Africa: Young Agripreneur Joins Growing Army of Urban Farmers

A second rooftop farm has been launched on African Housing Company's Stanop Building run by a young female agripreneur Mapaseka Dlamini following the successful launch of the initiative in October 2017.

Through the work of the Johannesburg Inner City Partnership, Wouldn't it Be Cool and key stakeholders, the Urban Agriculture Initiative is yielding positive results in addressing issues of food security, sustainable job creation, education and skills development in the city.

Dlamini, who runs the Green Sky Rooftop Garden, has one of the largest rooftop urban farms in South Africa, which grows more than 3,000 gourmet lettuce, herbs, peppers, cucumbers and basil plants using various hydroponic systems.

Passionate about the transfer of skills and empowering young women, Dlamini currently employs four female graduates who have expertise in horticulture and agriculture studies.

“I also plan to transfer skills to people without any formal qualifications or training so that they too can start up their own businesses and benefit from some of the skills and expertise I have gained over the years.

“I really love growing food using a combination of traditional and urban farming techniques," says Dlamini.

Due to the growth in demand for fresh produce in the inner city, WIBC has identified potential Urban Farmers to transform rooftop spaces into hydroponic farms across the City.

Of the 55 potential farmers, 22 are currently undergoing the pre-incubation phase of an intensive three-month technical bootcamp followed by the incubation phase, which includes business coaching, a mentorship programme, technical support, market access facilitation and bookkeeping support services through WIBC.

The roll-out of farming equipment is scheduled to coincide with pre-incubation graduation at the end of March 2018, which will be located at Khan Corner, Platinum Place, 120 End Street A, 120 End Street B.

The City of Johannesburg supports urban agriculture, which fits into its vision of growing a diverse and competitive economy that creates jobs to ensure a pro poor development that addresses inequality and poverty for meaningful redress.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Development Planning Cllr Reuben Masango feels that “urban agriculture has a huge potential to boost entrepreneurs in the inner city. Part of the way that the City can reach its 5% economic growth target by 2021 is to create sustainable job opportunities in parts of the city that have been long ignored."

Mapaseka Dlamini
 

For more information:
www.joburg.org.za

Publication date: 3/16/2018

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