South Africa: Food Gardens and Small-Scale Farmers Hold Key to Food System Transformation

analysis

South Africa has recently seen a resurgence of food gardens and small scale agriculture. This is an important marker of where and how we should approach agrarian transformation and food system development in South Africa. These 'emergent', new or 'small' farmers can make a significant contribution to our food system, both in food production and in community development.

Food gardens and small-scale farms are the diametric opposite of large-scale agriculture, and this itself reflects the exclusion that has been effective in land, agrarian and food systems since colonialism.

The most recent General Household Survey (StatsSA 2019) indicated that up to 2.2 million households have recently constructed food gardens at their homes in order to avert food insecurity. It is these farmers who hold the key to food system transformation, and our policy and developmental approaches need to meet them halfway if we want to transform our food system.

The Agricultural Census of 2011 (StatsSA 2011) and the recent GHS indicate that slightly less than 20% of the population is active in agriculture. We can safely say that there are about 2.5 million "agricultural" households in South Africa, but the more recent statistics on the resurgence of food gardens shows that...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.