Community food projects as tool for promoting sustainable development at Sedibeng district municipality
Mzini, Loraine Boitumelo
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The total number of households in Sedibeng District Municipality is estimated at 224 307. Sedibeng District Municipality experience high level of unemployment and poverty (51% of the people of Sedibeng District Municipality live in poverty), education and literacy levels and an economy that does not yield the concomitant jobs. This is further compounded by low levels of skills. These aspects are closely related to the socioeconomic conditions throughout the Sedibeng District Municipality. For the purpose of this study poverty is defined as the inability of the households to attain a minimal standard of living, measured in terms of basic consumption needs or the income required to satisfy them. A means to help obviate these economic hazards for sustainable living is community food gardens. For the purpose of this study a hypothesis was constructed: the high incidence of poverty rates and food costs at Sedibeng District Municipality makes community food projects a necessary tool for sustainable development. To obtain the answers to verify the hypothesis, literature study was used to trace the practices of community food gardens in Sedibeng District Municipality. An empirical study was conducted to confirm the hypothesis of this study. The following was confiied: - This study shows that the level of poverty and of unemployment is high in SDM. This remains a challenge to the government and the community to utilize the natural resources in an effective manner. - The study has shown that the communities are capable of empowering themselves. Households usually grow vegetables in their backyards. Due to common economical requirements, communities established groups to form community food gardens to assist each other, to feed their families and the hungry communities. - The food that they grow is donated to the schools to feed disadvantaged learners, sick people who are on medication and disabled persons; they also sell the surplus to acquire additional funds. - The ability to farm and to produce sustainably based on long term effects of various properties and processes essential to crop productivity and long term availability of inputs is seen as sustainable and effective, land may be used for a long term. SDM has the potential in all kinds of agriculture. That includes live stock farming to small gardens for sustenance. The land is fertile and there is vacant land that must be reserved for agricultural purposes. - The method used for producing crops is proved to be effective as the CFGs continuously use the available resources at their best ability. An example is the crop rotation whereby participants always alternate their crops on their land. They do this to reduce the exhaustion of the soil form the same crops planted. Countless organizations including the private sector continue to contribute towards ensuring that more and more people have access to food. - Food security in South Afiica is a concern in Sedibeng District Municipality, and it remains a serious challenge to achieve food security in the Gauteng Province as well. Therefore food security is one of several key government priorities to ensure that all people have access to adequate, safe and nutritious food at all times.
- ETD@Vaal Triangle Campus