Reconnecting and recalibrating local food systems and eThekwini and iLembe

The objective of this project is to reconnect and recalibrate local food systems in eThekwini Municipality and iLembe District Municipality.

The project aims to ensure local food systems function efficient­ly by identifying the smallholders and other small-scale producers’ needs, leveraging appropriate support and re-connecting them to markets, especially informal markets and feeding schemes.

 

This capacity pivots on three main focus areas: an awareness of and a reconnection to both natural and human-made systems that support daily wellbeing; a sense of one’s own agency to act and influence this system; and strong social cohesion – social networks of reciprocity and trust (including virtual networks) – to support that action.

This focus will enable these actors to understand clearly the resources that support their daily lives in the food system: as they become more conscious of these links, they become creative participants in the interaction with and shaping of these systems.

The project works with small-scale farmer and agribusiness networks situated with­in eThekwini Municipality (largely metropolitan with a mix of semi-rural, peri-urban and urban) and iLembe District Municipality (largely rural). Due to COVID-19, these networks have become disconnected impact­ing on the ability of farmers to produce and sell food to generate income. The project aims to ensure that effective and resilient local food systems are enabled.

 

Through ongoing dialogue with the key stakeholders in the early phases of this project, the following work streams that could lead to significant food system transformation have been defined and enabled:

  • Place based initiatives in uMbumbulu, uMzinyathi (both in eThekwini) and Maphumulo in iLembe. Detailed actor mapping exercises undertaken in each of these areas is leading to the identifica­tion of potential reconnection and recalibration opportunities
  • Ensuring that appropriate food and human safe­ty standards are in place in the recalibrated food systemsEnabling an ICT environment that that will best suit the needs of the local farmers, hubs, traders and consumers

Much of the initial groundwork of this project has been based on dialogue, but in order to transition to the action element, a learning journey and transfor­mation lab were held. The objectives of these events were to:

  • Expose the diverse group (including people that have not been part of current activities) to the cur­rent realities, experiences and stories of the actors on the ground
  • Consider the dimensions of power, inclusivity, transparency and democratisation and review the reconnection and recalibration opportunities that had been defined to date
  • Define the barriers to enabling the reconnection and recalibration opportunities
  • Set up transformation teams that will enable the reconnection and recalibration opportunities.

Read a report on the project learning journey and transformation lab here.

FUNDING PARTNER:

GIZ

GIZ

As a service provider in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education work, GIZ is dedicated to shaping a future worth living around the world. Together with commissioning parties and partners, GIZ generates and implements ideas for political, social and economic change.

 

GIZ works flexibly to deliver effective and efficient solutions that offer people better prospects and sustainably improve their living conditions.

 

For GIZ, the 2030 Agenda is the overarching framework that guides its work, which it implements in close cooperation with its partners and commissioning parties.