Supporting Young Farmers in South Africa

eskom-collageGovernment-owned electric utility supplier Eskom just made a generous donation toward helping INMED support young farmers in Tarlton, South Africa. The funds will be used to assist the Thusa Bagale Farming and multi-Purpose Cooperative with expanding their sustainable agriculture project by adding two sturdy concrete and brick structures. The hen houses will accommodate up to 500 free-range chickens within their confines.  The cooperative is run by four young women and three men, who are the sole providers for their households.

This hen house project is part of INMED’s goal to attract more youth into farming to generate income, jobs and spur local economic development. This Sub-Saharan region has been hard hit by global climate change, forcing young people to leave their family farms in search of more stable employment. With no electricity, running water or paved roads, the region’s unemployment rate is as high as 62%, according to a study by the Centre for Youth Development. INMED South Africa Operations Manager Janet Ogilvie hopes this project will encourage other young men in particular to return to farming. “They are as scarce as hen’s teeth,” she quips.

This is just one of many examples of how INMED’s Adaptive Agriculture program is transitioning farmers from subsistence to profitability. “Chickens in particular provide immediate income and food for small-scale farmers living on the edge,” notes INMED President Dr. Linda Pfeiffer.

The Tarlton co-op is currently clearing the site by hand, often with babies on their backs. Follow their progress here and on our web site: www.inmed.org.

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