In South Africa, Investing In Urban Farming

Cross posted from Nourishing the Planet.

4241273249_626c199546_m.jpgSoweto in Johannesburg, South Africa is most well known as the scene of massive protests and violence under Apartheid. Today, it is place of contradictions. While many of South Africa’s wealthiest citizens live there, it’s also a community plagued by poverty. Many of the residents live in shacks with tin roofs and don’t have running water or electricity. But like the residents of other cities in Africa, including Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi (See Vertical Farms: Finding Creative Ways to Grow Food in Kibera and Farming on the Urban Fringe), the residents of Soweto are growing foods, including cabbage, kale, spinach, and other vegetables in their yards.

While Johannesburg doesn’t have an official policy supporting urban agriculture, the government in Cape Town, South Africa has invested $5 million rand ($671,670 USD) to help the city’s poorest residents grow vegetables and fruits and raise livestock.

Stay tuned for more on urban agriculture as I travel to other cities in sub-Saharan Africa.