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Project Background

The Kotze Rooftop Food Garden Project has been setup on the rooftop of a CoJ homeless shelter at 3 Kotze Street Hillbrow, opposite Constitution Hill.

The project was based on training a team of beneficiaries from the inner city on an extensive agricultural entrepreneurship development programme (Agri-EDP), including: training (business operations, marketing finance and hydroponics), business coaching and the setup of a state of the art hydroponics rooftop food garden for the beneficiaries.

The food garden has 26 tunnels, each with 75 plants and a total capacity of 1 950 plants and 2 seedling tunnels able for the germination of up to 4000 seedlings.

The customized hydroponic systems are ideally suited to grow leafy greens such as: Spinach, Swiss Chard, Cabbage, Basil, Lettuce, Kale, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens as well and certain other crops such as Spring Onion, Cauliflower and even Strawberries.

Project Partners

UBUNTU Business Consulting specialize in the provision of affordable and effective entrepreneurship development programmes and support services to assist entrepreneurs at starting and growing profitably-sustainable businesses. Our philosophy is that of UBUNTU which is a Nguni Bantu term that roughly translates to “humanity toward others”. Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu both referred to “Ubuntuism” as a universal bond or interconnectedness which we believe applies to both life and business.

Our training division provides learning opportunities using a combination of Contact, Distance, and e-Learning methods to suit challenging learning environments. We offer more than 100 Qualifications including SETA Accredited courses and UBUNTU Certificate Courses from Entrepreneurship to Project Management. We focus on experiential-learning that creates an opportunity for students to engage and apply academic understandings through practical experience, while simultaneously learning new information about their business environment. The coaching aspects of our programmes include regular contact sessions, practical guidance and on-going training.

Our coaches are experienced members of associations such as Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA). Our business coaching and strategic interventions are tailored to meet the needs of our learners and aim to assist at implementing the plans they have developed during training. Learners are coached on appropriate management and development of their agri-business.

Our coaching is focused on various strategic objectives which are developed along with action plans to achieve the business goals and objectives. Through our holistic approach to training and development we are able to ensure our students receive the highest quality learning experience in order to improve their skills, gain recognized qualifications and achieve their goals -www.ubuntubusinessconsulting.co.za, www.ubuntubusinessschool.co.za, www.ubuntubusinessbootcamp.co.za

Wits Siyakhana Initiative (WSI) is an Initiative within the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (“Wits”) School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies (“GAES”), Faculty of Health Sciences. WSI has been operating an urban micro‐farming learning site and knowledge hub in Johannesburg since 2005 (for approximately 11-years), developing skills, infrastructure, and collaborative networks at local, provincial, national and global level. The Siyakhana Initiative’s Permaculture Food Garden was awarded “Best Innovation Project” and “Overall Community Project Winner” at the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s 2011 Awards. These awards recognize Siyakhana as an important agriculture initiative. A key objective of WSI is to develop capacity among emerging small scale farmers.

We are working with a number of strategic partners to setup a network of urban and rural food gardens throughout the country. Our programme provides a comprehensive solution for the effective setup and management of sustainable hydroponic rooftop food gardens. The project plays an important role in addressing two of South Africa biggest challenges, namely food security and unemployment. We assist at creating long-term solutions for job creation through unique agricultural entrepreneurship development programmes.

Project Summary

Project Summary
The CoJ roof garden enables a new and exciting approach to urban agriculture that delivers a tangible and productive contribution to a sustainable and scalable urban economic regeneration. Through rooftop food gardens CoJ will be able to provide food provision while creating employment and small business opportunities to support broad based local social development through urban agriculture.

Problem Analysis
According to the World Health Organization, over half the world’s population live in urban areas. This poses a unique new series of health concerns which effect Joburg’s citizens: “Rapid, unplanned and unsustainable patterns of urban development are making developing cities focal points for many emerging environment and health hazards,”.

Need for the Project
There are a number of challenges related to the health and well-being of inner city residents. Many of these challenges arise as the direct consequence of dense urban environments. The project provides a number of benefits related to job creation and environmental impact through urban agriculture. Roof gardens are self-sufficient and provide inner city opportunities for localized small-scale urban agriculture.

The Team

Cathy

Belinda

Phuti

Thandi

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