Homestead Food Production 10.01.10

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Document on possible ways forward for homestead food production in SA

Document on possible ways forward for homestead food production in SA

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  • 1. REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA The Presidency Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development (PSPPD) DEVELOPMENT OF EVIDENCE-BASED POLICY AROUND HOMESTEAD FOOD PRODUCTION Ian Goldman, Tim Hart, Peter Jacobs, Steve Mohlabi, Sylvester Kalonge, Dan Mullins 10 January 2010 Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development 9th Floor South, HSRC Building 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria 0002 Tel: 012 312 2940 Email: ian@psppd.org.za www.psppd.org.za
  • 2. Acknowledgements This report was produced for the Monitoring and Learning Facility of the Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development (PSPPD), a partnership between the Presidency, Republic of South Africa, and the European Union. The report was put together by Ian Goldman of PSPPD drawing on material produced by Tim Hart and Peter Jacobs of the HSRC, and from a workshop also with Steve Mohlabi of the national Department of Agriculture, Sylvester Kalonge of CARE SA-Lesotho, and Dan Mullins of CARE International. Ian Goldman 10 January 2010 © Programme for Support to Pro-Poor Policy Development. The report can be freely used but the source must be quoted. The report is available from www.psppd.org.za . Contact details are: Ian Goldman ian@psppd.org.za Tim Hart thart@hsrc.ac.za Peter Jacobs pjacobs@hsrc.ac.za Steve Mohlabi DFS@nda.agric.za Sylvester Kalonge SKalonge@care.org.za Dan Mullins DMullins@caresa.co.za
  • 3. Contribution to Cabinet Lekgotla on homestead production 10 December 2010 Use of homestead food production as a contribution to food security and livelihoods for rural and uran areas Ian Goldman, Tim Hart, Peter Jacobs, Steve Mohlabi, Sylvester Kalonge, Dan Mullins Abstract and policy recommendations A substantial proportion of South Africans (possibly 50%) are food insecure and many suffer from nutrient deficiencies1. Homestead food production is one element of a strategy for combating food insecurity, and it applies both to urban and rural areas. It also can lead to income savings by substituting for bought food and potentially be the beginning of a route for small-scale income generation. It is unlikely to contribute significantly to bulk energy supply but can make a significant contribution in improved and better balanced nutrition, as well as contributing to protein intake eg from eggs and legumes. The promotion of homestead production is widespread from NGOs and government. However the scale and its impact are not known. There is some evidence that it is making an impact on nutrition and incomes. Surveys show that practitioners eg of urban agriculture indicate the need for support for inputs, equipment and advice, although other support is probably more appropriate. This also points to the need for adequate evaluation and lesson-learning from current initiatives. Water is a critical resource and a key area for investment so that (expensive) municipal water is not used but rather rainwater harvesting or use of grey water, as well as ensuring soil fertility, eg from composting, green manures etc. Some of the issues that need to be addressed in a programme to support homestead production include: 1. Some systematic research to find out what is happening, where, the types of technologies, institutional arrangements, impact and lessons emerging. This will enable building a coherent programme which could be applied widely. 2. Building on the fact that a wide range of NGOs, churches, foundations, CBOs are applying homestead gardening by developing a programme that can fund a wide range of structures, so being able to operate at scale. This may require a new cadre of extensionists or allocation of resources by provincial Departments of Agriculture to outsource this work, as current staff are not geared to support and are not numerous enough to provide this support. The Departments of Agriculture should retain oversight, standardization of training and quality control; 3. Developing the upscaling modalities for this. This is likely to include: • A community-based modus operandi - using NGOs/CBOs etc to train and support community-level people (eg those who already know how to grow vegetables) to advise others - such structures are already well established in the health sector and work has been done to develop best-practice guidelines2 (eg see CBW, 2007). Back-up training could be provided by ARC, provincial Departments of Agriculture as well as NGOs; • Using the Community Work Programme or EPWP modalities to fund stipends for these community-based workers; • Developing a standardized accredited training for such community-based workers (eg in vegetables, another in community-based animal health, another in fruit trees, another in small-stock production) which can help in career development; 1 Depending on the surveys used and the proxies invoked. Nutrition based proxies and indicators give a higher figure. 2 http://www.khanya-aicdd.org/publications/CBWGuidelinesWeb.pdf/ Programme for Support to Pro-Poor Policy Development, Presidency 3
  • 4. Contribution to Cabinet Lekgotla on homestead production 10 December 2010 • Providing access to water through support for rainwater harvesting and use of grey water. This would be a good investment by government. Support to maintain soil fertility and avoid erosion is also required preferably using low external inputs; • Developing an upscaling approach with an inception phase in a few urban centres and some rural areas (eg a total of one urban and one rural area per province), or selecting the worst districts and metros or those where the homestead producers are concentrated. Then developing a phasing up process building on the elements above. • Developing a community of practice and mechanism for learning and sharing of experiences; • Establishing a proper monitoring and evaluation system including impact assessment ex-post for the programme which can feed in to the learning. 1 The problem of food insecurity There is evidence to show that a substantial percentage of individuals and households are food insecure. Food security has multiple contributors: levels of food production; functioning of food markets; distribution systems; household access – income and own production; fortification & supplementation; knowledge. While the experience of hunger has decreased in recent years, 12% of South African children and 10% of adults still feel the desperation of hunger (Stats SA 2007). This is a major improvement from 20% and 25% (respectively, in 2002), largely explained by the expansion of social grants. At the national level, one out of two households (52%) experienced hunger (Labadarios et al. 2008). Another 33% of households are at risk of hunger, which means that food inflation and the loss of income might push them into hunger. The HSRC shows that 50% to 80% of households are unlikely to afford an acceptable nutritional balance, based on current prices and levels of fortification- meaning that roughly 20% of households spend enough for a nutritionally adequate diet. Among the poorest half of households (i.e. those for whom monthly household income is less than R2000), rural households spend about 15% less on food per capita than urban households. This might be explained by own food production but there is no reliable evidence available to show this. Rural households pay 10%-20% more for a basket of basic foodstuffs than urban ones (NAMC 2009). South Africa is one of the top 20 countries with the highest burden of undernutrition. Under- nutrition results from a lack of access to nutritious diet (with sufficient energy, nutritional quality and safety). At the national level, stunting (inadequate growth in height) affects 1 out of 5 children and 1 in 10 children is underweight – the most severe measures of under-nutrition. Homestead food production is one element of a strategy for combating food insecurity, and it applies both to urban and rural areas. It also can lead to income savings by substituting for bought food and potentially be the beginning of a route for small-scale income generation. It is unlikely to contribute significantly to bulk energy supply but can make a significant contribution in improved and better balanced nutrition, including micronutrients and protein. 2 Weak data on the extent of homestead production Unfortunately while anecdotally a significant proportion of poor households can be seen to be making some contribution to their food intake (eg a fruit tree, a few chickens, some spinach) the extent of homestead food production and its contribution to household nutrition is not known. In a survey of the urban and rural nodes in 2008 13% of urban respondents had fruit trees, with 89% of rural respondents. Around 20% of urban and rural residents were aware of initiatives around vegetable gardens in 2006, dropping to 8-9% in 2008 (Everatt and Smith, 2008). Programme for Support to Pro-Poor Policy Development, Presidency 4
  • 5. Contribution to Cabinet Lekgotla on homestead production 10 December 2010 Approximately 2.5 million households (4 million people) produce extra food for own consumption – primarily in the former homelands. Not including farm-workers, 22% of all black households are involved in some kind of agricultural activity, mostly for own consumption (Aliber 2009). The share of those who produce for an ‘extra source of food’ has increased at the expense of those who produced for a ‘main source of food’. However there is no available evidence about whether subsistence activities are practiced in household food plot or fields. In research undertaken on urban agriculture (UA) by Cloete et al. (2009) which includes homestead production, of those practicing some form 50-60% were growing crops in their backyard, and around 11% practicing some form of animal husbandry. Of the backyard crop producers 99.3% produced for their own consumption and 7.3% to sell. Of those with livestock, 30% had cattle, and other livestock were goats (20.2%), poultry (14.4%), pigs (13.5%) and sheep (11.5%). Other animals included ducks, horses and guinea fowl. These figures are likely to be much higher in rural areas. People were earning on average between R8500 and R9500 per annum from urban agriculture. UA contributes approximately 25% of the household income of those households who obtain income from UA. The main reason for the involvement of respondents who engaged in UA was that they had no choice but to produce food themselves, since they experienced difficulty in accessing food from other sources (37.2%). Respondents in the necessity category specifically mentioned that food prices were too high and that they were thus constrained to produce food in order to survive. A second reason – which is related to the first – is that some respondents (22.7%) perceived UA as a means to fight poverty, or to cope with the cost of living, or in some cases, simply as an extra source of income. Thirdly, 18.3% of the respondents noted that they found UA enjoyable and that they were involved in farming out of choice 3 Impacts on nutrition Without household production food security of the ultra-poor would be significantly reduced (van Averbeke and Khosa 2007). There is evidence that production interventions should be coupled with nutritional education (Ruel 2001). For example the Ndunakazi Project followed integrated production and nutrition education approach and found that the intake of micronutrients improved (Faber et al. 2002a, 2002b). Traditional leafy vegetables are widely consumed and are a good source of various nutrients and tend to grow well in semi-arid areas (Hart and Vorster 2007, Jansen van Rensburg et al. 2007). The 1999 NFCS indicated that traditional leafy vegetables significantly contributed to calcium, iron and Vitamin A intakes of children under 9 (Steyn et al. 2001). In some parts of Africa such as Kenya and Uganda, traditional leafy vegetables also give very high returns. There is evidence that small scale livestock production (poultry and pigs) can improve iron deficiency (De Pee et al. 1996). So there is evidence that agricultural activities contribute positively to household nutrition – access, availability and diversity, although greater contribution might occur when commercially focused as this increases income and purchasing power (Kirsten et al. 1998, Hendriks 2003). Much of this data does not distinguish between household plots and field production. International evidence indicates that for improved nutritional status home gardens are more successful than other types of agricultural interventions (Berti et al. 2004) as it is easier to adopt under existing conditions – poverty, environment, etc. The purpose is household consumption and therefore improves supply and dietary diversity (Mabusela 1999, Ruel 2001). There are two distinct nutritional benefits (Hendriks 2003): • Produced food is for own consumption - mainly vegetables, thereby increasing micronutrient intake; • Permits expenditure of limited income on other more nutritious foods. Programme for Support to Pro-Poor Policy Development, Presidency 5
  • 6. Contribution to Cabinet Lekgotla on homestead production 10 December 2010 In the research quoted above households who had been involved in UA for longer periods tended to indicate more food security than those with a shorter history of UA involvement (Cloete et al. 2009). The higher levels of food insecurity amongst households who have been involved for less than one year are probably an indication of people’s desperation, as well as the fact that UA comprises their first attempt to address the food shortages. 14.2% of UA respondents in Johannesburg, 11.5% in Cape Town and 8% in Durban indicated that they often or sometimes went to bed hungry. In Mangaung, only 6% of respondents indicated that they often or sometimes went to bed hungry. Unfortunately this data does not give a clear comparison with people not practicing UA. So there is some evidence that homestead production can make a difference to income and food security, but the data is very limited. 4 What support could be provided? In the UA study already quoted table 1 summarises the support that was suggested. Water is available all year round and consistent in most urban areas. You have to possibly pay for it in some metros but in rural areas water supply is erratic and most gardens and households depend on rainfall for production Table 1: Support required from government for urban agriculture (Cloete et al) % of respondents Type of support indicating Farming inputs (e.g. seeds, fertilizer, animals) 45.75 Physical resources (e.g. equipment and tools) 27.45 More land to farm on 13.24 Water access 6.86 Veterinary services/medicine 2.61 Financial aid 2.45 Other (business advice / basic services) 1.63 Total 100.00 In support for rural gardens in Lesotho, water and soil fertility are at the top of the list. Table 2 shows the techniques most adopted (ie visible) in an evaluation of the Livelihoods Recovery through Agriculture Programme (LRAP) (Ndabe and Turner, 2006). Currently most organisations supporting homestead production are NGOs such as Food Gardens Foundation3, Biowatch, Soil for Life, Food and Trees for Africa, often using organic or low external input methods. Some agriculture departments are also supporting homestead production. The W Cape Department of Agriculture developed the concept of a household food production suitcase consisting of a family irrigation system, garden tools (spade, fork, rake, domestic hose, watering can), seeds and seedlings, fertilizers and a wheelbarrow, costed at R5000 (Cobus Dowry, Provincial Minister of Agriculture, 2009). In KZN in 2009 Premier Zweli Mkhize launched the One Home One Garden Campaign, aimed at fighting hunger and poverty in KwaZulu-Natal. He urged a garden in every home, in rural areas and in cities4. In E Cape the Siyazondla Homestead Food Production programme has been established5 providing infrastructure, training, startup inputs, and follow-up support programmes for backyard gardens 3 http://www.foodgardensfoundation.org.za/how-fgf-can-help-you/ 4 http://www.ebandlakzn.co.za/site/awdep.asp?dealer=7037&depnum=52007 5 http://www.info.gov.za/issues/govtprog/econopp_ecape.pdf Programme for Support to Pro-Poor Policy Development, Presidency 6
  • 7. Contribution to Cabinet Lekgotla on homestead production 10 December 2010 that are a maximum of 12 X 12 metres in size. The grant provides the most support in the first year, but in the following years continues to provide support. The grant provides farming tools like wheel barrows, forks, spades, rakes and watering cans; production inputs like seeds, fertilizer, seedlings and insecticides, to a value of R2000. Here is the biggest constraint – these inputs are not renewable and after the first season households may not be able to afford these again. It is important to seriously consider a more sustainable approach to inputs and technologies which need to be low cost or even available within the household such as using soap, manure, compost as well as advice on seed saving and storage. Also a voucher system for the poorest home gardeners might be a possibility. In neither of these government programmes has an evaluation been done. Table 2: Techniques visible during field survey household visits (Ndabe and Turner, 2006) Participating HH in LRAP village (n=137) Technique % None 37 Keyhole (vegentable) garden 20 Roof water tank 18 Kraal manure on plot 13 Dam construction 11 Double digging 7 Crop diversity 6 Seed inputs 5 Ash on plot 4 Soil fertility promotion 4 Diversion furrows 4 Raised plot 4 Garden fenced 4 The needs in Table 1 match with the type of inputs the government programmes above were proposing. However 86% of respondents indicated that they had never been approached by technical or extension officials so the government system is not reaching these people. Respondents in the UA study identified horticultural knowledge regarding planting and caring for crops (42.37%) as their greatest technical support need. In addition, approximately one fifth of the respondents (22.71%) mentioned that they needed general information and training in respect of agriculture. Soil science services (14.58%) and training in livestock-keeping (11.53%) were also identified as support needs. One of the biggest challenges is how such services can be provided for potential mass action such as homestead production. Botshabelo, for example, with some 150 000 people only has one agricultural extension officer, the Northern Cape has 20 for the entire province! It is likely that some community-based system would be needed, where action can happen in many communities. These are also much more cost-effective than professional based systems (eg see CBW 2007) and hence are used widely in other mass based services such as home-based care, early childhood development, or the Kha Ri Gude literacy campaign, which are based on stipends for community workers, sometimes called community-based workers (CBWs). Other public organizations such as the Water Research Commission (WRC) have also got involved in homestead food production6. 6 http://www.iwrm.co.za/resource %20doc/iwrm2/homestead_farming_and_rainwater_harvesting_guidelines/wrc_water_wheel.pdf Programme for Support to Pro-Poor Policy Development, Presidency 7
  • 8. Contribution to Cabinet Lekgotla on homestead production 10 December 2010 In terms of support then homestead production is being encouraged and applied in a wide range of places but there is little systematic evidence of the extent, the impact, or the lessons emerging. 5 Ways forward There appears to be some evidence that homestead food production can make a significant contribution to food security and incomes. Some of the issues that need to be addressed include: 1. Some systematic research to find out what is happening, where, the types of technologies, institutional arrangements, impact and lessons emerging. This will enable building a coherent programme which could be applied widely. 2. Building on the fact that a wide range of NGOs, churches, foundations, CBOs are applying homestead gardening by developing a programme that can fund a wide range of structures, so being able to operate at scale. This may require a new cadre of extensionists or allocation of resources by provincial Departments of Agriculture to outsource this work, as current staff are not geared to support and are not numerous enough to provide this support. The Departments of Agriculture should retain oversight, standardization of training and quality control; 3. Developing the upscaling modalities for this. This is likely to include: • A community-based modus operandi - using NGOs/CBOs etc to train and support community-level people (eg those who already know how to grow vegetables) to advise others - such structures are already well established in the health sector and work has been done to develop best-practice guidelines7 (eg see CBW, 2007). Back-up training could be provided by ARC, provincial Departments of Agriculture as well as NGOs; • Using the Community Work Programme or EPWP modalities to fund stipends for these community-based workers; • Developing a standardized accredited training for such community-based workers (eg in vegetables, another in community-based animal health, another in fruit trees, another in small-stock production) which can help in career development; • Providing access to water through support for rainwater harvesting and use of grey water. This would be a good investment by government. Support to maintain soil fertility and avoid erosion is also required preferably using low external inputs; • Developing an upscaling approach with an inception phase in a few urban centres and some rural areas (eg a total of one urban and one rural area per province), or selecting the worst districts and metros or those where the homestead producers are concentrated. Then developing a phasing up process building on the elements above. • Developing a community of practice and mechanism for learning and sharing of experiences; • Establishing a proper monitoring and evaluation system including impact assessment ex-post for the programme which can feed in to the learning. References Aliber, M. (2009). Exploring Statistics South Africa’s national household surveys as sources of information about food security and subsistence agriculture. Human Sciences Research Council Centre for Poverty Employment and Growth. (Working paper.) Berti, PR, Krasavec, J. & FitzGerald, S. (2004) A review of the effectiveness of agricultural interventions in improving nutrition outcomes. Public Health Nutrition 7: 599-609 7 http://www.khanya-aicdd.org/publications/CBWGuidelinesWeb.pdf/ Programme for Support to Pro-Poor Policy Development, Presidency 8
  • 9. Contribution to Cabinet Lekgotla on homestead production 10 December 2010 CBW partners (2007): "Community-Based Worker Systems – a possible solution to more services, reaching many communities, and within budget", Natural Resource Perspectives 110, October 2007, London, Overseas development Institute http:// www.khanya-aicdd.org/publications/CBW_systems_ODI_Oct2007.pdf/ Cloete, J, M Lenka, L Marais, A Venter (2009): "The Role of Urban Agriculture in addressing Household Poverty and Food Security: The case of South Africa’, Paper prepared for the Global Development Network Project, “Institutional Capacity Strengthening of African Public Policy Institutes to Support Inclusive Growth and the MDGs”, April 2009. Dongus, S (2000): "Vegetable Production on Open Spaces in Dar-es-Salaam - Spatial Changes from 1992 to 1999", City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban AgriculturE, available at http://www.cityfarmer.org/daressalaam.html Dowry, C (2009): Speech on Food Security and Household Food Production Packs http://www.capegateway.gov.za/xho/pubs/speeches/2009/apr/180260 Everatt, D and Smith, M (2008): "Building Sustainable Livelihoods - Analysing a baseline (2006) and measurement (2008) survey in the 22 nodes of the Urban Renewal Programme and Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme", Pretoria, Department of Social Development . Faber, M, Phungula, M.A., Venter, S.L., Dhansay, M.A. & Benade, A.J.S. (2002a). Home gardens focusing on the production of yellow and dark-green leafy vegetables increases serum retinol concentrations of 2-5 year-old children in South Africa. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 76: 1048-1054. Faber, M., Venter, S.L. & Benade, A.J.S. (2002b). Increased Vitamin A intake in children aged 2-5 years through targeted home gardens in a rural South African community. Public Health Nutrition 5: 11-16. Hart, T. & Vorster, H. J. 2007. African Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Agricultural Production. Pretoria: Department of Science and Technology. Hendriks, S. 2003. The potential for nutritional benefits from increased agricultural production in rural KwaZulu-Natal. South African Journal of Agricultural Extension, 32:28–44. Kirsten, J, Townsend, R & Gibson, C. 1998. Determination of agricultural production to household nutritional status in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Development Southern Africa, 15(4):573–87. Jansen van Rensburg, W.S., W. van Averbeke, R. Slabbert, M. Faber, P. van Jaarsveld, I. van Heerden, H. Wenhold, and A. Oelofse. 2007. African leafy vegetables in South Africa. Water SA 33 (3): 311-316. Labadarios, D, Swart, R, Maunder, EMW, Kruger, HS, Gericke, GJ, Kuzwayo, PMN, Ntsie, PR, Steyn, NP, Schloss, I, Dhansay ,MA, Jooste, PL, Dannhauser, A, Nel, JH, Molefe, D & Kotze, TJvW. (2008). National Food Consumption Survey-Fortification Baseline (NFCS- FB-I) South Africa, 2005. South African Journal Clinical Nutrition, 21(3) (Supplement 2):245–300. Mabusela, L. (1999). Homegardens in the central region of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: a socio-economic study. Agricultural University of Norway. NAMC (National Agricultural Marketing Council). (2009). The South African Food Cost Review: 2008. Pretoria: NAMC. Ndabe, P and Turner, S (2006): Livelihoods Recovery through Agriculture Programme: An Impact Study", Maseru, CARE SA Lesotho Ruel, M. (2001). Can food-based strategies help reduce Vitamin A and iron deficiencies? A review of recent evidence. Washington: International Food Policy Research Institute. Stats SA (Statistics South Africa). (2007). General Household Survey 2007. Electronic data. Steyn, N.P., Olivier, J., Winter, P., Burger, S. & Nesamvuni, C. (2001). A survey of wild, green, leafy vegetables and their potential in combating micronutrient deficiencies in rural populations. South African Journal of Science 97:276-278. Programme for Support to Pro-Poor Policy Development, Presidency 9
  • 10. Contribution to Cabinet Lekgotla on homestead production 10 December 2010 Van Averbeke, W. & Khosa, T.B. (2007). The contribution of smallholder agriculture to the nutrition of rural households in a semi-arid environment in South Africa. Water SA 33, 413-418. Programme for Support to Pro-Poor Policy Development, Presidency 10