Food security

The ability to provide year-round access to adequate amount and variety of food and nutrition is often a causal reason why woman collectively organise in saving schemes. Whether communities save together for tokens at large supermarkets, or start small community gardens or livestock, the livelihood networks that emerge are the foundation of building strong communities. Saving schemes in Mpumalanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Western Cape are taking the lead in demonstrating the value-chain between effective community organisation and livelihoods initiatives. Some of these initiatives include poultry and livestock farming, food gardens, baking and catering, soup kitchens and feeding schemes at crèches.

In the arid areas of the Northern and Western Cape, communities have secured parcels of land for communal agricultural development. For instance, the Merweville (Beaufort-West, Western Cape) groups have access to more than 5ha of commanage land. Funded by National Development Agency, Merweville groups are working to set up commercial agriculture. Although the project faced several challenges, such as limited commodities that are viable in the arid conditions, the project is yielding good returns. The groups mainly farm with root crops (potatoes, beetroot, etc). A Co-operative of FEDUP members, which is called “Skrik vir Niks” (scared of nothing) was established to run this nursery initiative. There has also been a number of exchanges to organic farms to see if this is an option.