Food & Trees for Africa - Food Gardens for Africa Programme

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Food & Trees for Africa - Food Gardens for Africa Programme

South AfricaSouth Africa
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Food gardens are fundamental to ensure food security. FTFA introduced Permaculture to South Africa in 1991 & these principles are applied to all FTFA food gardening projects.Today hundreds of communities & schools apply to FTFA for assistance to develop permaculture food gardens & many are helped.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Food security is reaching crisis proportions. 1 billion on the planet go to bed hungry every night. This is increasing with the devastating effects climate change affecting large & small scale agricultural yields & rising food costs. 1 in 15 children die before their 5th birthday in South Africa. 15% of babies are born with a low birth weight. 2.7 million children (15%) live in households where there is child hunger. 1 in 10 children suffer from severe malnutrition. 12 million people suffer from food insecurity, and 4 million of those are on the brink of starvation. AIDS & child headed households are another challenge. Natural resources eg water are under severe pressure.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Food Gardens for Africa provides support to start up or developing food gardens through starter packs that include training workshops, necessary tools, plant material & education material to thousands of schools & community groups that apply for help. Those that then show commitment are selected and presented to funders for further support. FTFAs decades of experience shows that ideally food gardens need support over 3 years to take them through seasons & ensure participants receive adequate training in horticulture, nutrition & basic business. Projects become self sustaining through effective food production, food cost savings, income generation & sustainable natural resource use & management. Gardeners & their dependents' health improve.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

FTFA started working with disadvantaged Toronto Primary School in 2004 to establish a productive garden, nursery & poultry production. FTFA then provided additional support & training on garden maintenance, water management, harvesting, AIDs & nutrition, record keeping & pest management, topics that could have presented challenges that would detract from the project’s success. Now, even in FTFA’s absence, Toronto teachers & parents utilise information, skills and resources to assist other schools & home gardens with their own project development, troubleshooting satellite projects. Toronto has raised money to develop medicinal plant gardens & for other community support & have won many awards for being an exemplary project.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

This program has produced thousands of food gardens in all provinces of the country in urban, rural & peri urban areas over the years, many of which are still operating. Through this small scale, local food production, tons of natural produce have been produced & money has been saved on produce. Thousands of educators, learners & community members have been trained to grow their own food organically & use & manage natural resources sustainably, resulting in improved & increased water and fertile soil. The produce from many of these gardens is used to feed Orphaned and Vulnerable Children & those infected with HIV. The skills transfer & capacity building through Food Gardens for Africa are key to the sustainability of the projects & facilitate other employment or entrepreneurial activities. Schools no longer need government feeding schemes & most sell healthier food to these & teachers.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Ideally a food garden project requires 3 years of support to become sustainable. During this time the project is addressed holistically, taking into account sales, marketing, production, planning & more. This helps projects to become sustainable. FTFA depends on donor funding at the outset but aims to help them to save costs, resources & generate their own income over time.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

FTFA pioneered carbon offset, tree and bamboo planting & permaculture in S Africa. As climate change & food security become a greater concern more organisations are establishing similar projects. FTFAs 23 years of experience & success, great communications, education initiatives & good reporting make this an outstanding, recognised & reliable organisation. FTFAs Permaculture Starter Pack (PSP) helps to assess the viability of necessary long term investment in projects while boosting projects in their infancy. The PSPs range from level one to three, with funds and resources increasing with project success.

Founding Story

23 years ago, as one of Jeunesse Park's heroes, Nelson Mandela, was about to be released from 29yrs in jail she decided to return to the land of he birth, from which she had gone into self imposed exile during the dark days of apartheid. Over years of traveling on the planet she saw some of the most beautiful places in the world & also saw the terrible environmental devastation we have caused to destroy them, usually forever. She returned to S Africa to do something positive for her country, to put down roots & contribute in a unique way to the earth & to the people, especially those living in the barren, dusty & inhumane townships. Her sense of responsibility & understanding that one can make a difference led to the founding of FTFA.
About You
Food & Trees for Africa
About You
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About Your Organization
Organization Name

Food & Trees for Africa

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

International and local awards for FTFA, founder and staff: United Nations Global 500 Laureate, the President Nelson Mandela Forestry Award, The Department of Environment Conserva Award, The Mail & Guardian Green Trust and Investing in the Future Awards, The Impumelelo Award, PMR Awards, the Eskom Chairman’s Award, the Mail & Guardian Chairman’s Award and the Institute for Housing SA Community Upgrader Award, the International Chevron Conservation Award, the United Nations Environmental Programme Sasakawa Climate Change Award, Arbor Day Foundation Award in the USA, the SAB Environmentalist Award, the best use of social media and website Sangonet award, UN supported SEED Award and Moola for Amanzi.

Nutrients For All
Where do you ensure the availability of nutrients?

Healthy environments., Nutrient-rich farming, Human wellness and vitality.

If you had greater capacity, which additional sectors would you like your solution to target - either through expansion, partnership, or thought exchange?

Full nourishment foods.

How specifically would this added capacity help you improve the quality, efficiency, or sustainability of your existing product or service?

Adding full nourishing food programmes would help to close the circle and create a larger impact in implementing these projects. Being able to holistically integrate the full nourishment foods aspect into our food gardens project would help to create more meaning for the project, hopefully making them more sustainable.