The City of Cape Town’s Agri-Planner training programme has made it possible for 33 youths from disadvantaged backgrounds in Philippi to receive agricultural training certificates.
The programme was funded through the mayoral urban regeneration programme. It is aimed at training young people from informal settlements in and around the Philippi farm precinct in vegetable and plant production.
The programme has been designed to foster an entrepreneurial mindset among growers in rural and urban communities so that entrepreneurs become self-sustainable and develop problem solving capacity skills. It kicked off on 16 March 2020, but due to the initial phase of the covid-19 lockdown, it could only restart in June during when agriculture and fishing businesses were allowed to trade.
Tips on farming cooperatively
The training equipped youth with the knowledge and skills required to run food gardens or farm operations innovatively, profitably and sustainably. They also gained an understanding of garden or farming skills and practise that could ultimately improve household income levels. It also provided them with skills to network and strengthen entrepreneurial opportunities.
In return, trainees were hoping that the programme would help them farm for income, acquire knowledge and skills about agriculture, and give tips on how to form a cooperative. Also, they were set on sharing knowledge and skills with the Philippi community where they are from.
Cape Town’s portfolio chairperson for urban management, Willie Jaftha, says, “It was my absolute privilege to hand over the certificates to 33 trained emerging farmers which will change their lives for the future.”
Grant Twigg, mayoral committee member for urban management, also expressed his satisfaction with the programme.
“The City of Cape Town’s urban management directorate promotes urban farming for sustainable livelihoods. This project not only sets the benchmark for developing urban farming in all our 24 sub-councils, but gives us the knowledge and understanding of what our communities desire. That is a sustainable income, improving the livelihoods of communities and contributing to alleviating unemployment.”