Bio vegetables from the slums

Categorie(s): Food for Mankind, News

In the slums of Capetown (South Africa) you can find over 2000 organic vegetablle gardens. The owners get better food for themselves and they can earn some extra money because the demand of organic food is growing fast in the city.
Most of the gardeners have been given a good start by Abalimi (Xhosa for “the planters”), a local organisation. Abalimi gives beginners free seeds, compost and a two months course toe learn gardening. The local government gives small plots and the department of agriculture has built some wells
“Hunger is the most important motive of people to ask for help “, says Rob Small, the founder of Abalimi. Fresh vegetables from the market are too expensive for most inhabitants of the townships. A garden of your own, even if it is only a few square meters gives them a solution.

Simple and cheap 

Nomonde Ndamane, a woman of 73, has beans, squash, tomatoes, and basil to keep 8 family members healthy plus five neighbours suffering from AIDS. “It is important that AIDS patients get fresh vegetables every day,” she says, “But a cabbage costs 14 rand (one euro) and a kilo lemons 10 rand (70 eurocent).”

Abalimi has in the last 25 years helped with starting 25 community gardens and more than 2000 private vegetable gardens. The choice for organic production is made
not only for ethical reasons, but also because it is simpler and cheaper, Small tells. “Many people here cannot read or write, this makes working with pesticides and fertiser difficult. Everybody can work with compost”
Products that the growers do not need for themselves are being sold in nature food shops in the city
The organisation now has also individual clients in the city. 120 families have a vegetable abonnement and get every week a box full of vegetabes. The profit is for the producers. The business is growing fast.
Between 2003 and 2007 the consumption of arganic food in South Africa has grown 80-fold

Clémence Petit-Perrot


Source (in Dutch): mvo nieuws (www.duurzaamnieuws.nl)