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Growing Sustainable Farmers

Interlinked agroecological community enterprises, supporting dignity, robust food systems, youth employment and building local economies

Photo of Thaven Naidoo
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Growing Sustainable Farmers (Pty) Ltd

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

We are registered as a company in South Africa, owned by a non-profit consortium. GSF is led by Jay Naidoo (co-lead), Louisa Zondo (co-lead, legal, governance), Dr Gavin Andersson (Organizational development, participatory learning approaches), Reginald Pillay (finance), Sarah Motha (gender, indigenous knowledge systems and agriculture) and Thaven Naidoo (agriculture, climate finance and adaptation). Our partners include Prof Albert Modi of the University of KwaZulu Natal, and the South African Organic Sector Organisation. We enjoy close working relationships with Ntinga Ntaba ka Ndoda in the Eastern Cape Province, Inyamazane NPC in Thukela region of KwaZulu Natal, Umphakatsi Peace Ecovillage in Mpumalanga and the Southern African Food Lab based in Stellenbosch University.

Website of Legally Registered Entity


How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 3-10 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

South Africa

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Multiple rural communities with between 2000 to 30 thousand inhabitants

What country is your selected Place located in?

Multiple sites in South Africa: Douglas/Taung, uThukela district, Keiskammahoek, Steynsdorp (all with existing GSF initiatives)

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Each member of our team has grown up in and worked for the transformation of South Africa over many years. Some have been involved in the struggle for liberation and endured the birth pains of the new democracy. All have contributed actively to building the country in the difficult early decades of the 21st century.  Our team is committed to eradicating the inequalities and injustices that have been inherited from our past, but which have been perpetuated by the lack of viable alternatives which can decisively deal with these challenges. The communities that we come from and are engaged with, form the mosaic of our lives and are impossible for us to ignore – they evoke a deep-seated drive to activate a more equitable and dignified life. We are confident about the genius that resides in our communities and in our ability to catalyze popular development organization.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Rural and peri-urban communities are the most severely affected by poverty in South Africa, suffering higher levels of mortality, lacking access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation, poor food security and chronic micronutrient hunger, and have greater energy poverty than their urban counterparts. Access to information and communication technologies is significantly lower and more expensive than in urban areas. Rural and peri-urban communities tend to have much lower asset bases, consequently they have a much smaller safety net to fall back on in times of distress.

Around 8.5-million people (16% of the population) are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture, notwithstanding the steady decline in agricultural production since 1994, compounding the erosion of smallholder farming over several decades. The destruction of the African peasantry that was a feature of South Africa’s modernisation process, marked by expropriation of land and the creation of a rural labour reserve, not yet reversed in the period of democracy. The number of active small farmers is at odds with the potential to earn a living from the land. The Labour Force Survey of 2013 showed that less than 50% of rural households participate in agriculture, and that less than 4% of the labour force are employed in agriculture, indicating a key need for success of a food systems initiative that helps greater numbers of the rural community engage in agriculture. This involves nothing less than recreating a ‘culture of the land’, and restoring an agro-ecology; recalling practices of arable farming and animal husbandry that have been eroded by colonialism, Apartheid dispossession and the growth of the agro-food industry. This means rekindling thousands of years of knowledge in African agriculture, embracing agroecological approaches along with new technologies and methods and innovating at a social scale to meet the challenges of the new epoch. The SA government agricultural services have declined steadily over a period of three decades and can only provide limited support towards creating new agricultural ventures.

The reality at the start of the 2020s is that there is a steady rural urban migration (see Table at Appendix 1) where the younger generations see little attraction to rural life and drift to town

South Africa is experiencing the first blows of the predicted increase in frequency and intensity of droughts and fires in the south and west of the country, as well as flooding in the north and east, and these communities are the most deeply vulnerable to exogenous shocks introduced by climate change. This vulnerability is exacerbated by a critical dependence on ecosystems services for livelihoods including for non-market needs, such as drinking water, grazing lands, and fields for cultivation.

We see small farmers as all those who engage in a continuum of farming activity ranging from household food production for own consumption (gardens as well as small stock), through institutional gardens (clinics, schools) to cooperative agricultural enterprises in the mainstream economy and involved in arable agriculture as well as livestock, forestry and fisheries.

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

South Africa’s hunger challenge is not unique: like the global food system our food systems have significant problems. In a country of less than 60 million people, 14 million go to bed hungry each night. Rapid population growth and climate change pose new challenges to an already over-stretched food system. The food system can be fixed, but only by a collective effort and political will from all stakeholders. A successful effort would have a compound effect in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, particularly in rural areas. An improved system must support smallholder farmers so that they are able to grow, sell and eat more nutritious foods. This includes empowering women in rural communities to control their income and encouraging farmers to form collectives that enhance their bargaining power. We need to support farmers’ collectivisation, so they can increase their bargaining power to support greater access to nutritious products amongst local communities, and in the process, creating a sustainable (and price-stable) market for local farmers growing nutritious foods. The farmers themselves need to be empowered to make decisions on what to produce and in what quantities, supported with access to high quality inputs and access to commercially viable markets. The land-reform debate is one of several issues that places South Africa at an inflection point – a position of great opportunity and of great danger – for the country in general, and for sustainable agriculture in particular.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

GSF brings several core innovations.

The first feature of our approach is the Organisation Workshop (OW): a method that capacitates large groups for economic and social development, facilitating development of organizational consciousness and enterprise management skills across a local activity system. There are many examples of successful implementation of the OW, in remote rural areas and peri-urban areas, and its recent use has seen emergence of associated enterprises; enterprises linked through a cooperative system. The method respects local demographics, invariably drawing in a majority of women and youth. See Appendix 3

The second distinguishing feature of our approach is the use of a “food audit” to identify potential agricultural enterprises and catalyze visioning of a strengthened local food system. This takes account of local culture, conditions and resources, and potentials for regenerative agricultural practices. The first step is to identify from the combined monthly shopping list of household purchases, those commodities which can be produced locally. The formation process of these agricultural enterprises, through the OW process, is supported through planning in collaboration with specialists. As part of food systems design, we look for opportunities for community enterprises to participate in commercial opportunities for upstream or downstream industries. Ongoing technical education and assistance is enabled through Resource Nodes (See Appendix 4) created through a community-of-practice with our partners and local actors in each district, including farmers and government extension services. This is friendly towards individuals with low literacy levels and draws on technology platforms such as mobile phone apps for extension and enterprise support.

The financial support mechanism is the third key feature, and has two components: (1) Technical Assistance (TA) consisting of the OW and enterprise specialist advisory services, paid for through public funds and grants, (2) Enterprise incubation and operation, financed on a commercial basis, with ownership residing within the community. A focus of the GSF team is consolidation of the financial services offering to secure on-going public finances and develop vehicle/s and investment options for a blended finance package. Investment could be through an institution (such as a participating bank), a fund (such as an equity/debt partner) or for a sector (direct investment into enterprises). We will engage an existing financial institution to front-end some of the financial services. In the medium term we organize for local cooperative financial institutions to strengthen the leverage and financial resilience of its members.

Enablers of external financing are: the fact that emerging enterprises are de-risked through TA, that markets are identified and local food circuits encouraged, that enterprises are capacitated organizationally, and the community is integrated into the entire approach.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

The crowing of chickens and extended mooing of milk cows greet our community every morning. In rural Steynsdorp, the population has more than doubled over the last five years, with many community members returning from the cities. In that period, there has been the development of two local chicken farms producing eggs and broilers, and we even have our own abbattoir. We also have a pig farm and our own dairy which sells milk, amasi, and butter. Last year we built a community kitchen (next to the creche which is three years old already), and we now have our own bakery.

The hillsides around the village which were ravaged by dongas, are now covered with various trees, including many varieties of fruit trees and the water channels on the mountains guide the water into our reservoirs, some of which are full of fish.

Every family has a decent house, running water and sanitation and there is now virtually no unemployment in the village, as those who do not have full-time jobs can at least get part-time work in the village which is brimming with activity, much of it around agriculture. We have even begun cultivating morogo (amaranthus) again and it is a village favourite, with our own local sweet potato. There are also many small businesses such as the recently begun traditional ceramic pot business which sells to tourists in the Kruger Park.

This evening the community will be meeting with the local municipal councilor to discuss the government supporting the expansion of our solar system and the community participation in Heritage Day celebrations. The community has raised half the finance for the solar system and would like to government to support us with a loan for the rest. We need to build additional cold storage capacity for the new rabbit abattoir and the fruit juice processing, and the youth computer club who manage the energy service will lead this discussion for the first time. The senior citizens association will lead the Heritage Day celebrations discussion.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Looking back from 2050, our way of living that now secures life and dignified livelihoods did not start with a systems plan embraced by all at the time. Indeed it may be difficult for some to believe that in 2020 the major influence on social life and environmental stewardship, was an economic model that relied on investment from outside our continent, and an ability to compete in production and sale of items we need every day, including food, with people on the other side of the planet. The fact is that rather than our governance models of late capitalism steering us towards survival in harmony with nature, we have found our way through consistent adaptation, interweaving mindful initiatives that combine science with ancient values, new technology and indigenous knowledge. Our system grew from roots in people’s activity, not planned from above, though significant policy changes in the years after the first COVID pandemic helped to align all actors for the common good. We have been fortunate too, that visionary social entrepreneurs threw themselves passionately behind our efforts.

As GSF we continue to work with the activity fractal [Margaret Wheatley first translated the fractals of physics to human activity] that we launched towards the end of 2020; the set of actions repeated regularly in different places that in themselves make sense, and so help the whole system find a new alignment. There has been no building of elaborate structures. Meticulous attention to the everyday principles of work and organization in each community have brought growth that some liken to the formation of a crystal, with repetition upon repetition of the same pattern.

The starting point of any GSF initiative, in every community in which we work, is a recognition that any change in patterns of activity will be sustained only by active commitment and learning by all those involved in it. There is throughgoing community consultation, involving youth and elders, and all existing organizations. Back in 2019 food was bought from the shop, with the little money we received from grants or remittances or that we earned from work in the rural areas, and the shop sent back the money to Johannesburg. Big food companies provided all that we ate, and some of it came with languages on the packet that we were unable to read. It was difficult in those days to imagine what we now know, but our basic proposition made sense: first let’s work out what kinds of food we eat, then see how many of those items we can produce in the community, and whether some foodstuffs can be replaced by foods and medicinal plants that grow here.

Then comes the second step, which brings all those within and linked to the community to work together. The Organization Workshop sets up the infrastructure for productive enterprises, and in the process also strengthens social initiatives, social enterprise that sustains even creches and music classes. In a period of only four weeks we have a new reality, new patterns of work and new rhythms of life. During this time all participants – and the method is designed for many people, in most cases one person from each family – go through a Theory of Organisation. This speaks to our history and helps us see how industrial agriculture came to marginalize African agricultural systems and discard the knowledge coming from more than 6000 years. It enables participants to understand their own behaviors and support each other in changing. It provides insights about management of the shared enterprise towards community development, providing simple tools to reflect critically about our progress and gives us a shared language of enterprise, common concepts, and practical tools and methods to use in daily life.

That is how we begin, in every community, but that is just the beginning. The GSF method is to make sure that technical support is available through a Resource Node. We ensure that agroecologists and specialists, sometimes farmers from a neighboring community, are available to help practically. We develop an enterprise plan that can attract finance for the different phases of the plan, while capacitating local people to play this role over time. In the early days we created a blended finance model, where Impact Investors aligned with government and commercial finance around the whole plan, while some individual enterprises were able to attract commercial finance based on their business plan. The development of these arrangements was accelerated by emergence of the Invest Rural movement in the second half of 2020. The propositions around creating Cooperative Financial Institutions that started around 2015 now found an ideal setting in which to take off at scale. Financing of rural development, with multiple enterprises in each community, is made easier because there is a source of local finance – and indeed the CFI credit committee tends to have a shrewd understanding of the strengths or weakness of those proposing an initiative.

This system of enterprise finance by its nature must speak in terms of the currency of the region. At the community level, we can celebrate many cases in which a local currency was created. Initially this was to facilitate exchange of services like babysitting, or guitar lessons, or casual work. This local currency was also used to purchase food at the community marketing enterprise. The local currency became more and more useful, catalyzing the exchange of services and goods between residents, until finally the issue arose about how it could be linked to the regional currency. There started to be ‘horizontal financing’ between communities. In 2050 we start to experience a seamless exchange from local to international financial transactions, that validates the daily chores of life, fosters emergent enterprise and makes good sense for social and commercial investors.

The Resource Nodes that were initiated in a simple partnership between GSF, the South African Organic Sector Organization’s “Knowledge Hub”, the University of KwaZulu Natal and Invest Rural mobilized all necessary expertise for the initial five communities, always drawing in local expertise and helping government extension services to become nimble and responsive.

It turned out that this arrangement was easy to replicate, with universities in different parts of the country and the emergent Youth Agroecology Academy forming their own nodes with the same repertoire of service and activities that informed the original GSF node.

While most of these resource nodes have their own drive and energy, we all link in the GSF learning network, and learn from each other’s practice. I have heard someone likening our resource nodes to the intersections where strands of a spider web converge.

What happened to the spider, you may ask? Well we are still here, learning and weaving

This brief overview might make it seem that everything went perfectly. It did not. There are all kinds of things that can go out of kilter in any food system, and in the resource network that we have described so quickly. From the start however we created rhythms of learning, periodic reflection moments for the whole web including each local community, so that we could adapt to emerging events and issues.

Some things we do not control, and here we can merely learn together about possible responses. Climatic conditions and soils, and agricultural potential more generally, differed in different biomes.

The crops in different areas vary a great deal. Some of the indigenous plants that were not available outside a very narrow district have proved hardy and can be cultivated in places some distance from their origins.

Something else that has varied from district to district is the cultural manifestations of people who are now enlivened by meaningful work and the dignity that comes with it. A culture of the land finds expression not only in the products and enterprises that sustain communities economically, or in the remarkable new housing ventures, but also in the ceremonies that happen in pace with the moon’s waxing and waning, and the seasons of the year. An age-old wisdom reasserts itself and an African spirituality is re-membered.

Reflecting on the policy shifts that enabled some of the work we do, we must start with the original COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Until that point it seemed to most of those involved in agroecology that policymakers were impervious to messages coming at them from all sources, including Nature herself. There was just too much invested in the existing agricultural system. COVID changed this dramatically, but not immediately. In the initial stages of the pandemic, government attempted to centralize food distribution despite repeated failures, and well financed corporate actors edged out some of the emergent citizens initiatives. The hunger that prompted food riots in some urban areas was met with firm state control. This is not a happy episode and we can move past it quickly.

It is adequate to say that by 2022 there was a policy framework in place that enabled an agroecological approach to flourish and which tied in with land reform efforts. This was led from the government side by the new Land Tenants support infrastructure, fed by renewed organization by the landless people’s movement using the same OW methodology to create working farms, and fully enabled by the collapse of industrial agriculture in the face of climate change. Even here it was practice and facts on the ground that quickened the pace of policy reform, as several commercial farmers gave up unused land to on-farm communities and neighboring communities, and entered partnership for the long term, towards regenerative agriculture.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Facebook

Describe how your Vision developed over the course of the Refinement Phase.

The refinement phase has seen GSF expand its understanding of possibilities for systems change and has resulted in the formation of partnerships that greatly strengthen the initiative. At the same time there have been significant impacts of the strict South African Lockdown. This has meant that activities scheduled to take place late in March and in April have been cancelled or adjusted. We will mention these below, but it must be mentioned that one set of activities has preoccupied a key writer of this Visions document for most of May, to the detriment of this document.

Please provide the names of all organizations you meaningfully partnered with to develop this latest version of your Vision (they contributed at least 10 hours of time to the Vision development during the Refinement Phase).

None that contributed more than 10 hours

Describe the specific steps you took during the Refinement phase to include different stakeholders to develop your Vision, including a description (age, profile, and total number) of the stakeholders engaged, and how you engaged with each.

Early in the Refinement Phase GSF entered a partnership with the Prof Albert Modi which has brought immense experience to the consortium. A long engagement with the South African Organic Sector Organization SAOSO started with informal discussion during 2019. In the refinement phase GSF spent  a day with the Chairman of SAOSO, Alan Rosenberg (63) and its Executive Director, Matt Purkis (33). 

  • Phaphama Initiatives and the National Movement of Rural Women
  • GSF agreed with Mining Dialogues 360° and an emerging community organization called Project 8420 in Tsantsabane to test the Food Systems Audit method.
  • A number of other discussions have been held with the financial sector, impact investors and the Green Climate Fund

What signals and trends did you draw from to inform your Vision? Please provide data or examples that back up each signal or trend.

Food insecurity is a problem in South Africa, more than 25 years after the deprivation of apartheid: a third of children in Gauteng and Free State are stunted as a result of chronic malnutrition. This is not surprising when nearly 35% of pregnant women said they were unable to buy food in the five days before the survey was conducted. The South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that, 26% of households in urban areas and 36% in rural areas experience hunger, and that about 50% of our population is food insecure or at risk of food insecurity.

At the same time, the youth demographic is increasing. South Africa has the second largest GDP on the continent and yet 55% of the youth are unemployed.

The inequalities of South Africa are often blamed on the colonial history and land dispossession, and in the face of the persistent inability to resolve the hunger/jobs/livelihoods crisis there are calls for the land to be redistributed through expropriation. There are multiple concerns about this, including increasing food security, but most significantly, the government spend to date has been of the order of R30 billion with very little to show for it.

If policy can support access to land, agriculture provides an opportunity for employment, especially for youth. This has been recognized by many, including the President of the African Development Bank, Adekwumi Adesina and Strive Masiwiya, the telecoms billionaire from Zimbabwe, who recently committed $100 million towards youth engagement in agriculture. He recently said, “Oh I wish I was starting again. I wouldn’t do telephones. I would go into agriculture.”

According to a 2013 World Bank report, Africa’s food market would be worth US$1tr before 2030. Africa currently spends more than $60bn on food imports each year benefiting producers outside the continent.

However, globally we are facing a climate challenge with Southern Africa projected to become hotter and drier, posing a challenge for water availability for agriculture.

We also have a growing obesity problem, with 70% of women and 39% of men regarded as overweight in South Africa. We have the highest obesity rate in sub-Saharan Africa. This blamed largely on the expansion of supermarkets and the availability of processed foods. Rural households, as well as people living in informal urban settlements, also pay more for a basic food basket than people living in formal housing in cities, and people in the lower income groups spend at least 35% of their income on food. People have lost control of their own access to good foods, even those in rural areas. A recent study by the WWF paints a gloomy picture of the South African food system where healthy food could cost 65% more than junk food.

The current Covid-19 pandemic has increased hunger in South Africa and highlighted the problem of not just accessibility of food but also the problem of long supply chains and the challenge this creates in the availability of food.

Describe a “Day in the Life” of a key food system actor within your food system in 2050 (e.g., farmer, chef, supply chain actor, food policy actor, etc.).

My day starts early. This is the furthest village in my portfolio of 20 communities and although it is only 60km, it takes an hour and a half on dirt roads on my scooter.

I have supported 14 of the 18 village enterprises. This is my final site visit for the new juice enterprise, Joy of Juices. The four young women in the team, will be juicing fruit to add as a flavourant with powdered moringa that they grow and adding it to kefir, produced by the local dairy. It is a powerful concoction of healthy ingredients. Sold in frozen form to their agents in 12 schools within a 10 km radius of their village, they have worked out a profitability plan which will see them pay off their start-up loan within three years. 100% natural without any preservatives, rich in protein and vitamins, they have had their drink tested in a national food laboratory. It has multiple health benefits and is great for their target market – young school-children. We had a food technology team work with them to develop the product and their food safety standards and procedures, and a human centred design team from D-School in Cape Town work with them to put together their donkey delivery system, home-made cooler boxes and branding.

The hardest part of the project development so far has been putting their financials and business plan into shape for the bank. They really gave this proposal a thorough going over – there were so many innovative ideas in the mix that had not been tried before. Fortunately, the team trialled all the aspects of proposal and had the bank along for the ride, literally, when they trialled the donkey delivery system!

Before we gather in the community hall the geeks connect up my scooter to their system so that I can get the 2 hours of charge in for my ride back home. My scooter range is only 100km but it is sufficient for all my other work.

Environment | How will your food system of 2050 adapt to climate change and remain resilient?

Climate change brings decreased rainfall to a water-stressed country. Western regions are projected to experience drought for 60- 80% of the decade before 2050, while eastern parts experience floods, and drought for half of that time. There is a challenge for life and livelihoods. Current agricultural practices are unviable and up to 80% of cropland may be lost by 2050.  Regenerative agriculture starts in soils damaged by industrial agriculture, and poor water storage systems and practices.

Diets | How will your food system of 2050 address malnutrition in all its forms (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, metabolic disease) for the people living there?

Food security is weak for a majority of the urban and rural poor, with official figures showing roughly 10% of the population experiencing hunger during 2018. Greater numbers have been unable to cope with privations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the scale of hunger is starkly apparent. On top of this there are extensive micronutrient deficiencies. This all stimulates interest in growing food

Economics | Where and what will the jobs be that support living wages in your future food system of 2050, and how will these jobs impact gender equality?

South Africa is the most unequal society in the world. Unemployment reached 30% before COVID-19, and 70% in some districts. 63% of youth between 18 and 35 years have never held a job.  Social grants reach 17million people (30% of population.) A downgrade to junk status in January 2020 followed by the COVID-19 crisis saw the currency fall by almost 50% of its value within 6 months. A new economic strategy post-COVID will needed to focus on local economic development.

Culture | How will your 2050 food system ensure that the cultural, spiritual and community traditions and/or practices in your Place flourish?

There are vast disparities in culture between urban and rural areas, and across societal strata. A pattern has been the loss of ‘a culture of the land’; South Africans buy rather than produce food. Steady rural-urban migration brings an urban youth culture that is vibrant but scarred by the ravages of drugs and gang warfare. There is resurgence of commitment to independent churches, and an African spirituality which upholds the principles of Ubuntu, implying living in harmony with nature. This provides the philosophic foundation for a new way of living in 2050.

Technology | What technological advances are needed to transform your food system into one that meets your goals and embodies the values of your Vision in 2050?

Communications technology is advanced in urban areas, at high cost. Mobile phone usage is high, and there is a sturdy eCommerce infrastructure.  Commitment to fossil fuel energy has halted advances in renewables. Public transport infrastructure is weak; the majority relies on minibus taxis. South Africa is positioned to effect the technological changes necessary for a resilient society in 2050.

Policy | What types of policies are needed to enable your future food system?

Pressure increases for expropriation of land held as private property since Europe’s colonization, and more recently Apartheid forced removals. Market-based land reform has not solved this issue. Climate activists unite around proposals for a Just Transition to renewable energy. Some groupings advocate an Agroecology policy, and changes to tax laws to facilitate local food systems. Any viable proposition about 2020 will require these challenges to be addressed within the next five years.

Describe how these 6 Themes connect with and influence one another in your food system.

See the full vision above for these interacting influences

Describe any trade-offs you may have to make within your system to attain your Vision by 2050.

A core issue is that we are focusing on rural areas in the midst of rapid urbanisation. However we see that there will be a drift back to rural areas as urban areas become unlivable, and we hope that our rural food systems will be able to supply healthy food into urban areas.

3 Years | Describe 3 key milestones that you would need to achieve within the next three years for your Vision to be on track?

  • Multiple pilot sites to demonstrate feasibility of our idea and Standard Operating Procedures in place
  • Our core team and support network consolidated
  • Policy advocacy in coalition with other food system players and civil society

10 Years | What progress will you need to make—by 2030—that would set your Vision up to become a reality by 2050?

  • To have a financing partner/bank collaborating with us
  • Support from donors/public funds for non-revenue activities
  • Operational Resource Nodes
  • Linkages to multiple initiatives – upstream and downstream, Invest Rural, AFDB,
  • Recognition by AU, SADC

If awarded the $200,000 prize what would you do with it?

50% to get the financing system in place

30% to get our Resource Nodes going

20% to support our team

If you are chosen as a Top Visionary, The Rockefeller Foundation would like to share your Vision widely with a global audience. What would you like the world to learn from your Vision for 2050?

There is hope for Africa

African youth and agriculture are our greatest opportunity

It is possible to a return on your investment if you invest in African agriculture

Please share a visual that communicates the structure and operation of your food system in 2050. Describe the visual.

The visual describes how all the processes and players fit together, showing financial flows, knowledge flows and the flow of goods and services.

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Attachments (3)

Looking back from 2050.docx

A full description of our vision looking back from 2050.

Originating and financing local food systems.jpg

Key elements of the localised food systems and how they link with the external financing mechanism.

Engaging communities.jpg

Processes in engaging communities and the key activities in each of the stages.


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Hey Thaven Naidoo  we're about to reach the Refinement phase submission deadline in less than an hour. Make sure you've update all your application question responses in the submission. Also ensure your submission is "Published". Feel free to tag me in here or email us at incase you face any technical issues with the submission.

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