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Urban agriculture for urban dignity

Categories: ALL THE NEWS , Agriculture/Food, Food security , Environment & Bio-diversity
Food really is at the heart of so much. It is linked to health, homes, family, dignity and livelihoods

Food really is at the heart of so much. It is linked to health, homes, family, dignity and livelihoods. At their best, local food economies can help alleviate food poverty, connect communities and aid in forming systems resilient to climate change. But, in our local context, many questions remain: How can we create more opportunities for women and youth in urban agriculture?

What urban agricultural forms are appropriate in lower-income areas? What market possibilities and economic growth models can be explored for urban agriculture? And, perhaps most importantly, how can we be flexible enough as a city to acknowledge new solutions?

Our food security challenges are certainly not unique to Cape Town, but I am encouraged by the strides our city is taking to address them – and our collaborative approach is a source of inspiration to other cities.  Urban agriculture is impossible without an enabling policy environment. The City of Cape Town’s extensive policy in this regard opens the door for urban agriculture to play a pivotal role in poverty alleviation and economic development.

Cape Town has already begun this journey, but we have some way to go. Even though it is heartening to see the ways in which people are collaborating to create opportunities for urban dignity in Cape Town, more integration between our city’s emerging food systems and urban farming projects across the city is needed.  Every community is a local food economy waiting to come to life and connect with neighbouring communities.

It is for these reasons that our Green Clusters project, which facilitates dialogue and supports urban agriculture in Cape Town, is collaborating with OZCF (Oranjezicht City Farm) Food Dialogues to produce a comprehensive knowledge document, authored by local food systems expert and journalist, Leonie Joubert. We will be sharing more news about this in the future but in the meantime please join in the conversation by attending the Food Dialogues, currently hosted every Monday evening at 2050co at 19h00.

I am looking forward to seeing closer collaboration and integration between the many pioneering urban farming initiatives and inspiring, citizen-driven food projects happening throughout our city.

By: Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana

Bulelwa writes an introductory note for each Cape Town Partnership monthly newsletter

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