A Proposed Framework for Urban Agriculture Development in South African Cities

by Nicola Martin

For my MBA thesis, I chose to look at possible pathways to develop urban farming in South Africa and develop a planning tool that organisations (such as communities, municipalities, businesses and urban farming support agencies e.g. NGOs and business incubators) could use to develop their value proposition and fully conceptualise their urban farming venture.

To do this, I researched what urban agriculture currently looks like – both globally and at a local level. Through a literature review, I explored the common challenges typically encountered by urban growers and some of the social, economic, and environmental benefits of growing food in the city. I then investigated various tools and frameworks used to promote and encourage the development of urban farming initiatives in different parts of the world. I used different facets of these to develop my own framework for South Africa. But, because urban farming in developed and developing countries can be so different, I asked six urban farming professionals from South Africa to analyse and review my framework. The feedback given by these specialists was then used to redesign and tweak the tool so to make it relevant for the local context.

The resultant framework for SA, aims to put all the pieces of the puzzle for what to consider when starting an urban farm or garden into one document which can be applied by various groups and organisations – including both profit-seeking and non-profit seeking businesses. It also aims to broaden our approaches to urban farming in SA so to unlock more of its Triple Bottom Line benefits, and ultimately, it aims to connect people to a shared vision.

If you have any ideas on how to grow the urban farming movement in SA or if you would like to talk more about this project, please get in touch with me on nicola-jayne@hotmail.com or find me on LinkedIn @ https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicola-martin-a90357195/.