Yesterday, USAID and INMED finalized an agreement to improve food security, skills development and economic opportunities for people with disabilities in the Free State province of South Africa through adaptive agriculture. The goal of the project is to integrate people with disabilities into the modern economy through new, adaptive agricultural technologies and access to financing. The project also aims to strengthen the ability of the Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) Free State Provincial Office to better address and support the needs of its members.
INMED has worked in the disability sector in South Africa since 2012, delivering direct training and technical assistance in sustainable, climate-change adaptive agriculture, as well as substantial inputs to enable members of disabled persons’ cooperative groups in Free State and Limpopo provinces to launch new income-generating enterprises that also improved their food security and increased their dietary diversity, and strengthened their organizational capacity through fundamental business skills, budgeting, planning and recordkeeping training.
The USAID grant will fund the installation of 2 new aquaponic systems for selected DPSA groups. Aquaponics is an innovative food production method that combines fish farming with hydroponics in a symbiotic closed system. Aquaponics is resilient to climate change, is more than 5 times more productive than traditional agriculture, requires no pesticides or chemicals and consumes a fraction of the water and resources required of traditional farming—in addition to being wheelchair accessible and simple to operate.
INMED will refurbish and expand an aquaponic system for the Monyakeng Disabled People South Africa (MDPSA) farming cooperative, which INMED installed several years ago in partnership with the Monsanto Fund. For more information about INMED aquaponics, visit https://inmed.org/aquaponics.
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