As a result of uneven national economic growth, poverty and food insecurity levels in South Africa continue to rise. Some estimates state that upwards of 35% of the population is vulnerable, living below $2 per day. Over 5 million South Africans are living with HIV/AIDS (the largest proportion of which are living in rural areas) and over 1 million children are orphans. In a recent Lima baseline survey of 800 rural households in eight local municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, the findings highlighted 31.7% unemployment and 63% of children suffering from chronic malnutrition. These statistics clearly illustrate the need for targeted food security interventions.
Lima is currently implementing an extensive household food security project in Mpumalanga, as well as assisting 15 other food security NGO’s with technical support and farmer mobilisation. Lima has focused our food security goals on supporting and increasing food production in vulnerable households through the provision of nutrition education, basic agricultural training and infrastructural grants. Projects have been identified through integrated stakeholder forums in each of these areas, with beneficiaries including AIDS support groups, aged persons’ clubs, community-based caregivers, homes for orphaned and disabled children, women, youth and schools. Implementation has seen the development of broiler projects, organic homesteads, community and school gardens and rainwater harvesting. Lima has also developed instructional videos and appropriate teaching materials in the areas of household-level composting, production of traditional foods and garden pest and disease control.
At the end of our last WesBank-funded programme cycle, over 5 000 vulnerable South African households have benefited from Lima’s food security projects, positively contributing to improved nutritional levels and livelihoods by giving households the ability to produce healthy foods for their own consumption and sale of surplus crops. In Mpumalanga alone, more than 2000 food gardens were established in 24 villages, with 941 beneficiaries receiving free training on appropriate household-level food gardening techniques.
Lima’s food security initiatives are funded by the WesBank Fund, Flemish Government – Flanders International Co-operation Agency and the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs KZN, Department of Cooperative Governance, Department of Rural Development & Land Reform, Wesbank, KZN Education Trust, Chamber of Mines, Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, Anglo Platinum and Northam Platinum.
KwaZulu-Natal: Pietermaritzburg, Howick, Harding, Nongoma, Jozini, Manguzi, Msinga
Eastern Cape: Umzimvubu, Matatiele, Qumbu
Mpumalanga: Bushbuckridge and Nkomazi