Gardens of Hope: Urban Micro-Farming


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Gardens of Hope: Urban Micro-Farming
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Gardens of Hope: Urban Micro-Farming

  1. 1. GARDENS OF HOPE URBAN MICRO-FARMING AS A COMPLMENTARY STRATEGY FOR MITIGATION OF THE HIV-AIDS PANDEMIC Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa 17-25 August 2005 Resource Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF), ETC Urban Agriculture, Leusden, the Netherlands Abalimi Bezekhaya, Cape Town, South Africa EU-ACP Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), Ede, the Netherlands
  2. 2. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 2 CONTENTS 1. Introduction Introduction to backgrounds, aims, participants and programme of the study visit and workshop. 2. Urban Micro-farming and HIV-Aids; A need for systematisation of experiences and scaling up An introduction to the key issues by the organisers of the study visit 3. Presentation of experiences Short presentations of the experiences gained by the organisations participating in the study visit (see the introduction to this paragraph for an overview of the 20 cases presented during the study visit) 4. Conclusions and recommendations A summary of the main conclusions and recommendations to local and national policy makers and donor agencies 5. Follow up actions An overview of the follow up actions planned by the participants. ANNEXES 1. List of participants 2. Role and main sources of protein and micro-nutrients 3. Overview of nutritional characteristics of selected food products
  3. 3. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 3 List of abbreviations CBO Community Based Organisation CHW Community Health Worker CSO Civil Society Organisation IGA Income Generating Activity NGO Non-Government Organisation MOA Ministry of Agriculture MOH Ministry of Health PLWHA or PWA People Living With HIV-AIDS TOT Training of Trainers
  4. 4. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 4 1. INTRODUCTION The problematic In countries of Southern Africa at least one of five adults is suffering from HIV-AIDS, of which the main part in the urban areas. South Africa alone has a total of 4.2 million HIV infected people. Over one third of 15-years olds may die of AIDS. What strikes when visiting families affected by HIV-AIDS in low income neighbourhoods, is that such families normally first and for all ask for food, rather than medicines, counselling or care. However, strange enough, food is rarely made the focus of HIV-AIDS mitigation programmes and many HIV-affected households find it difficult to follow the nutrition recommendations provided to them due to lack of cash and access to fresh nutritious food Research results1 clearly indicate that adequate nutrition –although it cannot cure HIV-infection- can enhance life expectancy and the quality of life of HIV-infected persons substantially. Balanced diets are essential to maintain body weight and muscle tissue, replace lost vitamins and minerals, strengthen the immune system and thereby reduce the susceptibility to co-infections and enhance the ability to fight such infections (e.g. diarrhoea, TB, respiratory infections), improve the response to treatment and delay the onset of full blown AIDS. On the other hand we observe in cities in Southern Africa that poor urban people are increasingly seeking to survive by gardening and raising of animals in their back yard gardens and on vacant public land (e.g. along rivers, roads, below power lines, in flood zones, on ex dump sites, etcetera). Also an increasing number of community centres, schools, hospitals and clinics allow community groups to use part of their land for food production by poor and vulnerable people, often involving families affected by HIV-Aids or caring for orphans. Urban farming is emerging strongly in Sub-Saharan Africa as a survival strategy of the urban poor and families affected by HIV-AIDS with lack of purchasing power and low access to nutritious food and as a response to the growing food needs of the rapidly growing cities (especially perishable products like green vegetables, milk, poultry meat, etc.). Several Churches, NGOs and Municipalities actively supporting community based food production projects in resource poor neighbourhoods because they recognised food and nutrition needs of the urban poor and vulnerable. The study visit and workshop on Urban Micro-Farming and HIV-AIDS Against the background sketched above, it is understandable why the Resource Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF), operated by ETC Urban Agriculture, Leusden the Netherlands2 took the initiative to organise a study visit and workshop on Urban-micro farming and HIV-Aids, in cooperation with Abalimi Bezekhaya and other South African Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) that are 1 See the presentation by H. de Zeeuw below 2 See for more information on RUAF and the Cities Farming for the Future programme that ETC and regional RUAF partners are implementing.
  5. 5. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 5 promoting small scale urban farming activities in Cape Town, Johannesburg and other cities in South Africa. The EU-ACP Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) provided the financial support. The Conference Company (TCTC, Cape Town) provided the logistical support needed to realise the study visit and workshop3 . The organizers brought together a variety of stakeholders including senior staff of Municipal Health and/or Agriculture departments, NGO’s and CBO’s from various countries in Southern Africa. Part of them is involved in urban gardening and livestock programmes, while others are implementing HIV-AIDS programmes with a strong nutrition component (and some do already both)4 . The study facilitated the exchange and analysis of experiences among these stakeholders regarding the potentials and limitations of urban food production as an additional strategy for mitigating the effects of the HIV-AIDS epidemic. This with the following aims: • To identify successful approaches and critical factors in the design and implementation of urban micro-farming activities • To enhance the impacts and sustainability of existing urban micro-farming activities and their relevance for HIV-AIDS infected persons and their families • To facilitate the inclusion of urban micro-farming in HIV-AIDS programmes implemented by NGO’s and local and national government • To establish a platform for information exchange and mutual support in the field of Urban Food Production and HIV/AIDS The key questions that were looked into during this study visit and workshop included the following: • Which factors determine the success or failure of micro-farming projects that seek to improve nutrition and income of households affected by HIV-AIDS? • How to select the right project locations and participants? • How to enhance their access to land and water for urban micro-farming projects close to their homes? How to enhance security of land use for urban micro farming? • How to overcome the labour constraints that are experienced by HIV affected families? • What are recommended nutritious crops, animals and technologies? • What is optimal plot size for one family, taking into account nutritional needs and available labour? • What risks associated with urban farming have to be taken into account? • How does the way these projects are organised influence their social impacts (positive and negative)? • What lessons have been learned regarding the organisational and institutional aspects of (various types of) micro-farming? • How to reduce the risks associated with farming activities in densely populated areas? • How to finance urban micro farming projects? 3 Thanks Michele, Wendy, Ndashe !! 4 See Annex 1 for the list of participants.
  6. 6. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 6 • How to monitor the impacts of these projects on nutrition, health, livelihood and life expectancy of HIV-AIDS infected persons and their families? • How to scale up from local successful initiatives? • How to ensure the sustainability of micro farming projects? The programme for the study visit and workshop was as follows: August 17 and 18 Participants present their experiences August 19 and 20 Visits to urban micro-farming projects in/around Johannesburg August 21 Travel to Cape Town; rest August 22 and 23 Visits to Urban micro-farming projects in/around Cape Town August 24 and 25 Analysis of experiences gained; Formulation of conclusions and recommendations; Planning of follow up actions The following micro-farming projects were visited: • Nomvano Food Garden in Mamelodi Pretoria, supported by Food and Trees for Africa. Contact Jeunesse Park (011-803 9750) • Leumo Le Botse letswa Tshemong project at the Pimville Clinic, Soweto, supported by Food and Trees for Africa. Contact: Jeunesse Park (011-803 9750) • Kathlehong Home Food gardens project, East Rand, Johannesburg, supported by Food Gardens Foundation. Contact Hilda Pheto (011- 880 5956) • Sparrow Rainbow Village HIV Hospice, Maraisburg, Johannesburg. Contact Corrine Mclintock (011-472 6628) • Urban Farmers Cooperative in Diepsloot, Johannesburg supported by Cooperative and Alternative Policy Centre. Contact: Constance Pendula (083-7401584) • False Bay Hospital Community Garden in Cape Town. Contact: Wendy Crawford (082- 8261333) • Sezeni Support Group for HIV/Aids Garden in Cape Town, supported by Art of Living. Contact: Nyameka Ndashe (021- 7892494) • Masizame Womans Group in Driftsands, supported by Soil for Life. Contact Pat Featherstone (021- 794 4982) • Women for Peace Project in Mfuleni, Cape Town supported by Soil for Life. Contact: Pat Featherstone (021-794 4982) • Thando Community Centre in Touws River supported by Soil for Life. Contact: Pat Featherstone (021-794 4982) • Ntwasahlobo School and Community Garden Project in Cape Town supported by Abalimi Bezekhaya. Contact: Rob Small (021- 3711653). • Siyazama Community Allotment Garden Association (SCAGA) in Macassar, Cape Town, supported by Abalimi Bezekhaya. Contact: Rob Small (021- 371 1653).
  7. 7. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 7 2. URBAN MICRO-FARMING AND HIV-AIDS; A NEED FOR SYSTEMATISATION OF EXPERIENCES AND SCALING UP Ir. Henk de Zeeuw Resource Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF) ETC Urban Agriculture Leusden, The Netherlands INTRODUCTION The participants to the study visit cum workshop on urban micro-farming and HIV- AIDS come from a variety of backgrounds: practitioners from the health sectors and their colleagues in agriculture, people from NGO’s as well as from local government and research. With this presentation I seek to establish a common ground and a starting point for the exchange of experiences during this study visit, by: a. Summarizing some facts on the relation between poverty, nutrition and HIV-Aids b. Defining urban micro-farming and its potential for enhancing food security and nutrition c. Listing some key questions that we want to explore during this study visit (and thereafter) d. Formulating some working hypothesis regarding the design of effective urban micro-farming projects that aim at enhancing food security and nutrition of HIV- AIDS infected and affected persons. POVERTY, NUTRITION AND HIV-AIDS: SOME FACTS A vicious circle exists between poverty and inequalities and HIV-Aids with malnutrition as the key link. Poor households are more exposed to HIV Aids and are more severally impacted by HIV Aids. Women, who are key actors in household food security and care giving, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the disease and its impacts. The vicious circle is as follows: • Poverty and inequalities lead to nutrition deficits and higher exposure to HIV- infection. • A person who is malnourished and acquires HIV is more likely to progress faster to AIDS because the body is already weak, is more susceptible for co- infections (like tuberculosis, pneumonia, diarrhoea), reduces the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, and leads so to weight loss, muscle wasting and nutrient deficiencies (A,C,E, Selenium, Zinc). The parasitic infestations and malnutrition may result in increased oxidative stress and immune suppression, which leads to increased HIV replication in the body (higher viral loads) and hastens the transition from HIV to full Aids and finally to death. • Families affected by HIV-AIDS tend to have higher expenses due to costs related to treatment, while income tends to go down. As a consequence, these families tend to save on food expenditures by reducing food quality and quantity (food constitutes 50-70% of expenditures of poor families), although the presence of HIV-infected persons requires more food and better diets.
  8. 8. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 8 • In their effort to try to cope to this situation, these families often also apply other survival strategies that on the long run work out negatively on family livelihood: taking children out of school, young women becoming sex worker, reallocation or splitting up the family, taking loans to fill the gaps, etcetera). As a consequence: deepening poverty and malnutrition. Remaining family members are more at risk now to become HIV infected. Especially young women are much more susceptible for contracting HIV-Aids; in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia young women are three to six times more infected by HIV-Aids than young men, a/o due to their sub-servient status in the household/community and becoming a sex worker as a survival strategy. Also orphans are particularly susceptible since they are likely to be more malnourished and more exposed to unsafe sexual behaviours. Enhancing food security and nutrition of vulnerable households should receive much more attention in programmes seeking to mitigate the effects of the HIV-AIDS pandemic. Research results5 clearly indicate that: • Adequate nutrition cannot cure HIV-infection, but can enhance life expectancy and the quality of life of HIV-infected persons substantially. Balanced diets are essential to maintain body weight and muscle tissue, replace lost vitamins and minerals, strengthen the immune system and thereby reduce the susceptibility to co-infections and enhance the ability to fight such infections (e.g. diarrhoea, TB, respiratory infections), improve the response to treatment and delay the onset of full blown AIDS. • HIV-infected adults and children have increased energy (10-30 %) and protein needs (up to 15 %)6 and need sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals to compensate for losses and increasing inefficiency of the body. However, in practice the food intake and food quality of HIV infected and affected persons is often declining rather than improving amongst others due to loss of income and loss of appetite due to depression, painful sores in the mouth, side effect of medicines, etcetera. • HIV infected pregnant and lactating women need special attention, since they already need extra energy, proteins and micro-nutrients for their pregnancy and lactancy, next to the extra requirements due to HIV-infection. Their situation can be compounded by existing socio-cultural habits and gender relations that restrict their food intake and food quality. Mother to child transfer of HIV-infection is highly affected by nutrition (of mother and infant). • Adequate nutrition is also essential to optimize the benefits of ARV-treatment: the ARV’s are more effective if the treated persons are well nourished which is normally not the case in low income neighbourhoods. “It is like building a house. If you have a roof but there are no walls and no foundation, the house is not very useful. If you include drug therapy but you do not have adequate nutritious food, you will not be able to fight the infection”7 . Hence, food and nutrition programmes are becoming all the more important with the increasing access to ARV-treatment in developing countries. 5 See literature references at the end of this paper 6 WHO concludes that data regarding increase in protein requirements due to HIV-infection are insufficient and hence states that HIV-infected persons do not require more protein than the level recommended for healthy persons. However, HIV-infected persons often have pre-infection malnutrition and protein deficiencies need proper attention, especially by increasing food intake to required levels and improving nutritional quality of the food (FANTA-AED, 2004). 7 UN-AIDS, 2001, Nutrition Policy Paper, Volume 20
  9. 9. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 9 Many HIV-Aids mitigation programs include a nutrition education component for the HIV-affected people and their families. However, the impact of such nutrition education is generally low since the recommended foodstuffs are not locally available or cannot be afforded by the poor families. Access to food is one of the main problems of HIV impacted communities. Accordingly, enhancing access to food of good quality forms a crucial entry point for programmes assisting such communities. Such food security and nutrition programmes have there largest impacts at the early stages of HIV-infection before developing into stages requiring antiretroviral drugs (ARV’s) treatment (that is however the stage that most people do not know yet that they are infected with HIV). Often food aid is used to supplement the diets of HIV-infected persons through specific programmes providing food handouts (e.g. through clinics and community centres) to families affected by HIV-Aids or caring for orphans. However, the organisations involved in such programmes rapidly recognise that this is not a sustainable solution and that a more structural solution is needed to ensure access of HIV-infected families to nutritious food and income. Local food production projects can possibly fulfil such a role in a sustainable way. URBAN AGRICULTURE Urban micro-farming can be defined as the growing of plants and raising of animals, and related activities like water harvesting, composting, food processing and marketing, by urban people (especially poor and unemployed people) for food, income, medicinal herbs, shade/micro-climate on small tracts of land in home yards and in vacant public or semi-open spaces in the built up city (along and in rivers, roads, below power lines, in flood zones, on ex dump sites, etcetera) and in the peri- urban area. For the purpose of this study visit, the following types of micro-farming may be distinguished: a. home gardens (attached to the private house; includes cellars, barns, balconies, rooftops, window sills, green walls). b. community gardens (garden area split up in small family plots; often on public or semi-public grounds) c. institutional gardens run by schools, hospitals, prisons, factories d. open field plots (small holders, especially peri-urban, owned or rented) Urban food production in the South is in many cases a response of urban dwellers to: inadequate, unreliable and irregular access to food supplies, partly due to either a lack of availability of food or a lack of purchasing power and inadequate access to formal employment opportunities. Urban farming is emerging strongly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the fastest urban growth is occurring in countries least equipped to feed their cities, but recently a strong increase was also observed in other regions with acute economic crisis (e.g. Zimbabwe). Urban agriculture may contribute to: Increased urban food security and reduced malnutrition through enhancing access to fresh nutrient-rich foods of urban populations suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition. Increased income opportunities for the urban poor through agricultural activities: a. self-provisioning reduces family expenditures on food. As the
  10. 10. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 10 urban poor are found to be spending 60-80% of their income on food, any of these actions can have a major impact on household well-being. b. sales of surpluses or exchange for other products the family needs Social inclusion: urban agriculture projects help to restore the self esteem and hopes of disadvantaged and stigmatised people and their acceptance in the wider community An improved living urban environment by cleaning up and greening the neighbourhoods, improving the micro climate (shade, less dust) and recycling of solid and liquid wastes. An increasing number of cities (e.g. Kampala, Dar es Salaam, Dakar, Addis Ababa, a/o) and national governments (e.g. Botswana) in Sub Saharan Africa are recognising the importance of urban agriculture and adapting their policies and programmes regarding urban farming. New approaches are currently underway to reinforce the formal establishment of allotment garden schemes and other forms of urban agriculture in cities in Sub Saharan Africa. URBAN MICRO-FARMING AND HIV-AIDS: CREATING GARDENS OF HOPE Urban micro-farming has good potential to enhance food security and nutrition of HIV-infected persons and their families. However, urban micro-farming projects have received little attention of central and local government and research institutes and few attempts have been made to systematise the existing experiences. Before the potential of urban micro-farming can be fully realised, many questions have to be dealt with. Some of these questions are: • Which factors determine success or failure of micro-farming - projects that seek to improve nutrition and income of households affected by HIV-Aids? • How to select the right project locations and participants? • How to enhance their access to land and water for urban micro-farming projects close to their homes? How to enhance security of land use for urban micro farming? • How to overcome the labour constraints that are experienced by HIV affected families? • What are recommended nutritious crops, animals and technologies? • What is optimal plot size for one family, taking into account nutritional needs and available labour? • What risks associated with urban farming have to be taken into account? • How does the way these projects are organised influence their social impacts (positive and negative)? • What lessons have been learned regarding the organisational and institutional aspects of (various types of) micro-farming? • How to finance urban micro farming projects? • How to monitor the impacts of these projects on HIV-Aids infected and affected persons? • How to scale up from local successful initiatives? • How to ensure the sustainability of micro farming projects? We will use the opportunity of this study visit to compare a number of experiences gained in Southern Africa and jointly draw some lessons for future programmes. From review of recent literature and discussions with some local experts indicate some lessons are emerging regarding factors to take into account when designing
  11. 11. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 11 urban micro-farming projects aiming at enhancing food security and nutrition of HIV- AIDS affected families. I present them here as working hypothesis, open to discussion: In order to maximize the effect of urban micro-farming projects for HIV-AIDS affected families: a. Micro-farming projects should target on whole communities with a high number of poor and food insecure households (rather than on people living with HIV-Aids directly). This because: ° Stigmatisation should be prevented; ° Greatest overall impacts of nutritional support is to be expected in the early stages of the disease (but when most people even don’t know that they are effected, due to lack of testing facilities and stigma) when improving the quantity and quality of nutrition is most effective to prolonged period of relative health by preventing /stabilizing loss of weight, preserving/gaining physical strength, preventing diarrhoea and speeding up recuperation from infectious diseases; This for their own benefit and for the benefit of those who depend on their income and care (children, elderly). Also mother-child transfer of HIV-Aids will be reduced. In this way vulnerability to the impacts of the disease of the whole household is reduced; ° A second stage targeting might be used to young under-employed adults, especially young women (high risk group); ° By focussing on the community the project may also contribute to breaking the vicious circle between malnutrition and HIV-Aids. b. Urban micro farming projects should be based in community based organisations and social networks and bottom up participatory planning and “learning in action” approach c. Urban micro-farming projects should also involve institutional actors at higher levels in order to ensure: o provision of required support to local initiatives (e.g. access to land and water); o coordination among local initiatives and between these and city or national programmes; o upscaling of locally successful community supported initiatives; o creation of a supportive policy environment (e.g. legalization of urban agriculture and inclusion in urban land use planning). d. Urban micro-farming projects should be strongly linked with the services provided by conventional HIV-AIDS programmes, including: ° Awareness raising and education on HIV-AIDS (special eating needs for people living with HIV-Aids, mother to child transfer facts and infant feeding choices; importance of testing, local remedies for frequent health problems; ° Nutrition education: promotion of key foods and nutrients, changing dietary and food preparation habits, promotion of water and food hygiene, additional feeding after infection to compensate food loss, herbal treatments and remedies (See FAO manual); ° Early treatment of opportunistic infections like TB and pneumonia; ° Provision of anti-retroviral drugs.
  12. 12. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 12 e. When designing Urban micro-farming projects one should give special attention to the following issues: ° Securing access to land of acceptable quality (community gardening); ° Securing availability of irrigation water and choice of low cost and labour saving irrigation techniques; water harvesting; reuse of household wastewater; ° Training and guidance regarding the management of community gardens and how to deal with most frequent problems when working with HIV-Aids affected families; ° Training of participants in adequate selection of adequate species (nutritious food see table 1 for nutritional values of a large number of crops; attention for indigenous foods), easy to grow, labour and capital extensive, pest and drought resistant) and production technologies for space confined and low input but high output agriculture. E.g. through farmer field schools and farmer- to- farmer extension. Organic production methods, soil fertility maintenance (composted wastes, animal fertilizer) and IPM are among the priorities; ° Provision of equipment and inputs (especially compost, seeds and young stock). These inputs initially have to be provided at a subsidised price but should preferably be provided in such way that sustainability is enhanced (provision of equipment and tools and inputs as a revolving fund, establishment of community seed production units, establishment of saving schemes and rotating micro-credit, etcetera). At later stages of the project/groups self financing has to be increased and subsidy to be lowered; ° Measures against theft (fencing or guards); ° Mechanisms for processing and/or marketing of surpluses. f. Food for work or food for training can play a role in the urban farming project: ° during the initial stages of the project (land preparation, composting, etcetera). This especially if the participating families are undernourished and lack sufficient strength; ° as a form of payment to participating volunteers. The food should be supplied through the community based organisations that run the local programme (and which should have the required logistical and management capacities of storing, transporting and distribution of food) g. Financing of urban micro-farming projects In most cases “shared financing” will be needed with contributions (in kind, in staff time, in cash) from various sources: national government (e.g. funding, food for work, drugs, technical advice), local government (e.g. legal support, access to land, access to water, technical advice, fencing), hospitals and schools (access to land, bio medical support), NGO’s (project management, group development and management support, training, etcetera), CBO’s (ensuring community participation, individual care for HIV-infected persons, etcetera). The main arguments for government support to local micro-farming initiatives have been found in the first chapter of this paper: ° by improving food security and nutrition the effect of ART-programmes will be greatly enhanced; ° by enhancing local food production capacity, longer term food security and nutrition can be realised, breaking the vicious circle between poverty, nutrition and HIV-AIDS.
  13. 13. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 13 Information sources The following information sources have been consulted when preparing the paragraph in this paper regarding HIV-AIDS, food security and nutrition: WHO (2005) Consultation on Nutrition and HIV-Aids in Africa, Durban South Africa, 10-13 April, 2005 STUART GILLESPIE AND SUNEETHA KADIYALA (2005) HIV/Aids and Food and Nutrition Security, From evidence to action. Food Policy Review 7, IFPRI, Washington DC FANTA-AED (2004) HIV-AIDS a guide for nutritional support, Washington DC WHO/FAO (2002) Living well with Aids. A manual on nutritional care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, FAO, Rome UN-ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition (2001) Nutrition and HIV/Aids Nutrition Policy Paper # 20, ACC-SCN, Geneva PIWOZ E.G. AND PREBBLE E.A. (2000) HIV/Aids and Nutrition. A review of literature and recommendations for nutritional care and support in Sub-Saharan Africa. Academy for Educational Development, Washington DC, 2000 HADDAD L. AND GILLESPIE S. (2001) effective food and nutrition policy responses to HIV/Aids: what we know and what we need to know. Food Consumption and Discussion Paper IFPRI, Washington DC 2001 UN-AIDS. Nutrition Policy Paper, Volume 20
  14. 14. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 14 3. PRESENTATION OF EXPERIENCES GAINED BY THE PARTICIPANTS In this paragraph you will encounter the following cases: 3.1 Momo Masoka. The Urban Food Security Programme of Action Aids International, Zimbabwe 3.2 Rob Small, Christina Kaba and Sindi Mahusa-Mhlana. The Urban Agriculture Programme of Abalimi Bezekhaya, Cape Town, South Africa 3.3 Pat Featherstone. The Food Gardens Programme of Soil for Life, Cape Town, South Africa 3.4 James Onyango. The Nutrition and Food Security Programme of Kenya Aids Intervention Prevention Project Group (KAIPPG), Kakamega, Kenya 3.5 Jeunesse Park. The Permaculture Food Gardens Programme of Food & Trees for Africa, Gauteng, South Africa 3.6 Ssemwanga Margaret Azuba and Richard Kabuuka, Urban Farming and HIV- AIDS initiatives supported by Kampala City Council, Kampala, Uganda 3.7 Innocent Balagizi Karhagomba. The Urban Agriculture Programme of the Diobass Platform, Bakuvu, DR Congo 3.8 Simon Chanda Fikansa. The Integrated AIDS Programme of Catholic Diocese Ndola, Zambia 3.9 Américo Cassamo. The Urban Agriculture Programme of Maputo City Council, Maputo, Mozambique 3.10 Bonginkosi Njokwe and Jon McCosh. The African Roots Project, Institute of Natural Resources, Scottsville, South Africa 3.11 Noah Sigauke. The Improving urban livelihoods project of ITDG - Southern Africa, Harare, Zimbabwe 3.12 Godwin Chisenga. The HIV-AIDS Programme of Catholic Aids Action, Windhoek, Namibia 3.13 Joseph Tembo. The Community School Based Urban Agriculture Project of Project Concern International, Lusaka, Zambia 3.14 John O. Onyatta. Urban agriculture surveys by National Council for Science and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya 3.15 Abedaye Ogunmokun. Urban agriculture studies and pilot projects by University of Namibia, Oshakati, Namibia 3.16 D.L. Keboneilwe and M.E. Madisa. Policy development and implementation on Urban Agriculture by Ministry of Agriculture Botswana, Gabarone, Botswana 3.17 Nyameka Ndashe. Sezeni Food Garden Project, Art of Living Foundation,
  15. 15. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 15 Cape Town, South Africa 3.18 Wendy Crawford and Karen Jordi. False Bay Hospital Garden Project, Cape Town, South Africa 3.19 Ann September. The Emerging Farmers Projects of Wes-Kaap Ubuntu Farmers’ Union, Cape Town, South Africa 3.20 Sebenzile Nxumalo. The urban gardening pilot project of AMICAALL- Swaziland, Mbabane, Swaziland
  16. 16. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 16 3.1 URBAN FOOD SECURITY PROGRAMME OF ACTION AIDS INTERNATIONAL Momo Masoka ACTION AIDS INTERNATIONAL Harare, Zimbabwe INTRODUCTION TO AAI AND ITS FOOD SECURITY PROGRAMME ACTION AIDS INTERNATIONAL (AAI) was founded in 1972 to help children living in poverty. Since then the organization has moved from providing short term relief assistance to long term development assistance and finally to the rights based organization the organization now is. Today AAI is operational in more than 42 countries globally, with more than 20 of them in Africa. The country offices are coordinated by four regional offices in Nairobi (Africa), Brussels (Europe), Bangkok (Asia) and Rio de Janeiro (Americas) Our vision is a world without poverty and injustice in which every person enjoys his/her right to a life with dignity. Our mission is to work with organizations, alliances and movements at all levels to foster approaches rooted in a global identity and consciousness and formulate alternatives that will eradicate poverty and injustice in Africa Since 2003 Action Aid International (Zimbabwe program) has been supporting nine local NGOs in Harare and Bulawayo on a food security program targeting poor and vulnerable households affected by HIV/AIDS. The overall goal of this project is to improve the livelihood security of poor, marginalized and vulnerable households affected and/or infected by HIV and AIDS, especially women and children. More specifically the project has aimed to improve household food security through food aid and own food production in low input gardens. This project has been part of the protracted relief program that DFID has been supporting in Zimbabwe since 2003. In supporting urban agriculture this project is seeking to augment the food aid component by assisting households to produce a wide variety of foods to improve the quality of their diet through consumption of a greater quantity of nutritious foods and sale of surpluses. The project has also sought to use these gardens to produce medicinal and nutritional herbs, particularly important for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Urban agriculture8 is not a new phenomenon n Zimbabwe’s urban landscape and dates back many years. However, its prevalence and significance has grown in line with worsening urban poverty, particularly after Zimbabwe adopted the structural adjustment in 1990. With the continued macroeconomic decline, rising unemployment and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, urban agriculture has become key source of livelihood for many urban households in Zimbabwe in recent times. 8 In this paper urban agriculture is viewed as the production of crops and/or livestock in areas designated as urban. It may occur within residential properties or in open public land. Depending on prevailing land use regulations such urban agriculture may be a legal or illegal (Masoka 1997).
  17. 17. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 17 At its inception this project sought to support individual household gardens within their residential areas or other open spaces that these households had access to9 . The project also introduced the concept of low input gardening (LIG) that uses locally available resources to help beneficiaries plan and manage their crops without expensive chemicals to achieve healthy, productive gardens. LIG uses ideas from other approaches such as permaculture, integrated land-use design, and sustainable agriculture. Specifically designed for urban areas, the LIG approach maximises the diversity of food that can be grown in small plots. This sustainable approach to livelihoods is tailored to meet the specific needs of people affected by HIV and AIDS (e.g. crop diversity for nutritional needs and gardening approaches that require minimal financial and physical resources). Beneficiary training has encompassed land use design, seasonality, water access, pests, use of compost/mulches, soil structure, seed collection, nurseries, and food handling, preparation and preservation. The project trains local volunteers who then train beneficiaries. As a strategy to minimise the risk of loosing public land areas (given the fluid policy environment in Zimbabwe and the current ‘clean up’ operation) the project has partnered with local schools in both Harare and Bulawayo. These schools have offered land for LIG within their premises. To improve sustainability of this partnership, the schools have become active participants, not just providers of land. The schools have made LIG a part of their curriculum and so their gardens will likely be secure from possible policy change restricting land use in future. In these school gardens the heads of schools, teachers and students are all involved and participate. The project beneficiaries also take part in maintaining these gardens. This gives the project collective ownership. Vegetables from these gardens are consumed by the children from vulnerable families jointly identified by the school and the local IP. School teachers have been trained on LIG and they in turn, train their students. So far a total of 33 school gardens have been established and another 49 more are planned. In both the household and community garden beneficiaries grow leafy vegetables (Cabbage, rape and other traditional vegetables), root or tubers, and herbs. 9 Since 1980 local authorities had tolerated open space cultivation in urban areas but the legislation governing urban land use prohibited this and this legislation has not been amended (Mbiba 1994).
  18. 18. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 18 RESULTS OBTAINED An assessment of the project results so far has found that the benefits of the LIG approach include economic returns, increased food security and nutrition as well as psychosocial benefits, such as increased self-esteem, improved group cohesion, decreased stigma, and increased community support. Furthermore the herbs being produced in these gardens have been used for medicinal purposes, improving the health of HIV affected beneficiaries. Urban gardens are an essential part of urban livelihood systems particularly of the poor and vulnerable. LESSONS LEARNT Access to Land and Water Access to land for cultivation by poor households has always been a big challenge in Zimbabwe’s urban areas. Most poor households do not have houses of their own and often live as tenants in backyard cottages (before the ‘clean up’ exercise). Most such tenants often do not have access to land to cultivate their crops. But with creativity even under those conditions agricultural activities are taking place. Production Issues In this project beneficiaries grow a wide variety of crops including vegetables, herbs and trees. Although the projects gives beneficiaries a start up seed kit, they are usually free to grow crops of their choice including indigenous and wild plans. Our emphasis has been to ensure that beneficiaries grow crops that are nutritious, have medicinal value, help with soil fertility improvement and also offer insecticidal value to protect the garden from pests. Due to space limitations in the urban areas the project has not used micro irrigation although there is drip kit technology on the Zimbabwean market. To ensure sustainable availability of seeds and tools, the project has provided start up tools and seeds to all beneficiary households. Furthermore the project also cooperates with agents that provide training in permaculture and LIG. These institutions are also key sources of seeds and seedlings, particularly of herbs and other trees. Labour has been one major problem for households affected by HIV/AIDS as some of them are ill or have large numbers of young and dependant orphans. To minimise this problem, the project has targeted the household instead of the sick individuals in the household. Where the affected households have more than one adult member this strategy has worked well. Security of produce is an important factor. Produce in open places is often vulnerable to theft. The school gardens have tended to be safer as most schools have security arrangements. Organizational and institutional issues Training and mobilisation of beneficiaries is a crucial factor. Beneficiaries need to be trained in an ongoing process. Most of the growers are poor with limited agricultural or horticultural skills. Mobilising the communities motivates them to continue working. It is important to de-stigmatise the project. Although our project targeted households affected by HIV/AIDS, it would not have survived if it had been viewed as an
  19. 19. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 19 HIV/AIDS project. For instance, when this project was first introduced in schools, only children from HIV/AIDS affected households were targeted to work in school garden. Immediately it became apparent that the other children viewed the project as an HI/AIDS project and nobody wanted to be associated with it; not even the beneficiaries. The strategy had to be changed to involve all the children to remove the stigma. For the success of household gardens: • a large pool of volunteers is needed to work with a small number of households, providing training and monitor progress. Working with a small number of beneficiaries gives the volunteer more time to support the beneficiaries and to attend to their own (the volunteer’s) needs and to restrict transport needs • The beneficiaries need to be organised into groups of say 20 to 30 households to make mobilisation and training easier. Even if gardening activities will be organised at household level, bringing the participants together provides opportunities for peer influencing, training, support and motivation. In school gardens: • The whole school needs to be actively involved in the project: the head of the school, the teachers and all students. • There needs to be a strong cooperation between the households participating in the school garden and the school authorities. In order for urban agriculture to succeed in Zimbabwe, there is a need to develop an enabling policy and regulatory environment that guaranties access to and security of tenure for the poor. In Zimbabwe, following the ‘clean up operation’ many poor household were displaced following the destruction of their homes. Many households being supported by the project lost their gardens in this process. Even where the owners were not displaced some of these gardens destroyed. However, in uluwayo recently a process of multi-stakeholder policy formulation and action planning has started.
  20. 20. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 20 3.2 URBAN AGRICULTURE PROGRAMME OF ABALIMI BEZEKHAYA Rob Small, Christina Kaba and Sindi Mahusa-Mhlana ABALIMI BEZEKAHAYA Cape Town, South Africa INTRODUCTION TO ABALIMI BEZEKHAYA AND ITS ACTIVITIES. ABALIMI BEZEKHAYA (“Planters of the Home”) is a registered civil society organisation founded in 1982. Abilimi has a core of 12 permanent staff and an additional group of about 14 contract staff and volunteers, who work on the Board and on associated Special Projects that directly enhance core delivery effectiveness10 . ABALIMI is based at the Agri-Business Place in Phillipi, Cape Town and in two non- profit People’s Garden Centre’s (supply and training) in Nyanga and Khayelitsha. ABALIMI runs two core programmes: a. the Urban Agriculture Programme (UAP) b. the Cape Flats Greening Programme (CFGP). The UAP and CFGP currently support about 200 community agriculture and environmental projects and approximately 3000 home gardens (vegetable and recreational) throughout the townships in Cape Town. The most important associated special projects currently underway are • The Schools Environmental Education & Development project (SEED, since 2000), which capacitates teachers to develop and utilise school gardens as outdoor classrooms. • The Agri-Business Place Phillipi, a new partnership project (since June 2005) which aims to provide all round services to emerging agricultural entrepreneurs. ABALIMI supports approximately 100 urban agriculture projects and 2000 home vegetable gardens every year. The majority of the urban agriculture projects are Community Allotment and/or Communal Gardens run mainly by women (average age: 35 yrs plus) based in school yards and in a few servitude (commonage) areas. Another type of urban gardens supported by ABILIMI are the Institutional gardens: gardens initiated by institutions in support of their own core programmes (e.g. outpatients gardens at clinics or educational gardens at schools). The majority of the ABALIMI-supported gardens have been initiated by community groups or individuals as part of a survival and/or subsistence strategy to cope with poverty. In Cape Town and surrounding there is a growing movement for Urban Agriculture and Urban Greening, represented by the Vukuzenzela Urban Farmers Association (VUFA), the School Environmental Teachers Association (SETA) and an emerging Green Streets Association. ABALIMI provides support to this movement, through the ABALIMI Core 10 See the ABALIMI Friends Newsletter and Website for more info on Abalimi’s activities and a list of donors and funders.
  21. 21. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 21 Programmes and associated Special Projects, including the following activities (or Key Result Areas): • Project Implementation: delivery of actual projects on the ground, with infrastructure. • Resource Supply: subsidised and free start-up agricultural and horticultural inputs to gardens • Training: basic training in gardening , with long term on-site follow-up (intermediate and advanced training is now being developed) • Organisation Building: facilitation of Savings Mobilisation and Horizontal Action Learning • Networking: facilitation of partnerships in order to add value to all movement initiatives (agricultural or non-agricultural) and linkage to lobbying organisations and networks. ABALIMI itself is not a lobbyist, but only inputs into lobbying formations. • Research, Monitoring & Evaluation: facilitation of RME in the movement and development of RME tools for the movement and for internal evaluation and Action Learning. • Financial & Organisational sustainability for ABALIMI: HRD, Resource Mobilisation, Accounting and Management of ABALIMI to ensure that ABALIMI remains effective as service provider to the movement. RESULTS OBTAINED Important results obtained by the core programmes include: • Relative nutritional security at household level: most of the gardeners are producing seasonal organic vegetables which impact on nutritional security and health at household level. People may still be hungry, but are less at risk of disabling nutrition-related disease11 . • HIV-AIDS support: This is growing naturally out of the impulse for nutritional security. Neither ABALIMI, nor the movement it supports, have a developed programme or policy for HIV-AIDS support. However, there is a programme emerging out of the movement itself, which begins simply with a regular and free seasonal supply of fresh vegetables by the community gardeners themselves to families and organisations in their communities which are struggling to feed people with HIV-AIDS. Furthermore, institutional gardens (at clinics and at NGO 11 Empirical studies on the nutritional impact of seasonal organic vegetables at household level have not been done. Only anecdotal evidence and personal testimony from hundreds of gardeners exists to prove this fact.
  22. 22. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 22 care centres) are beginning to emerge which could become permanent supply sources of fresh organic vegetable to patients. • Income from sales of surplus vegetables: the community gardens (who are mostly at early-mid subsistence level) have been known to save between R1000- R20 000 per year in their bank accounts. These savings are irregular and often under-declared. Most of the savings are used for essential cash-based items like fuel, school fees, transport etc. Group savings are normally kept until year-end and distributed among the members as a sort of “Christmas Bonus”. There is also a trend within the community garden associations to use the group savings for setting up internal micro-loan schemes to members or for bulk buying of inputs or equipment. Much more needs to be done to facilitate Savings Mobilisation in the movement, whereby the community projects can collaborate to pool savings and thus obtain leverage in the cash economy. • Job creation: ABALIMI has established through empirical field studies and action-research that one job can be created for every 250-500m2 of wasteland converted into gardens, selling organic vegetables to the local community at street prices (worth 1300-R1500/month after costs) or to the Cape Town retail market at premium prices (worth up to R 3000/month). These facts have been communicated to the movement and are being taken seriously, although few people are yet willing/or able to put in the 7 days per week/365 day per year effort needed to achieve own job creation and job security. There is still a broad-based feeling that “there must be an easier way”. • Social benefits: group organic gardening generates important outcomes among the urban poor12 . Among these benefits are the individual and group empowerment among women (and also men if they are awake enough to their feminine side) whereby women have entirely assumed leadership of the movement, with good men in support roles. Because of this empowerment, women are able to hold their family and community culture together, while the men go off looking for the mythical “job”. LESSONS LEARNT Taking the development continuum into account Interventions with regard to setting up urban agriculture projects should be clear about their objectives and the development level of the groups they will be working with. In this regard ABALIMI has now developed, from field experience, a draft Sustainability Index (SI)13 which tracks the development continuum of community farming projects, with measurements, from survival level into subsistence level, into livelihood level and finally into commercial level.. Linked to the SI is a field worker career path and a gardener/farmer career path, capable of taking even illiterate people through a continuum to gain accredited capacities at trade certificate level. Programme designers should design interventions which are “level appropriate”: each level in the development continuum has its own requirements and sustainability criteria. This will avoid the mistake being made here in South Africa where agencies are still trying to create commercial growers in quick-time, out of people who are not yet competent at Subsistence or Livelihood level, and who are often unclear if they even want to be farmers at all. 12 Also on this subject -other than one or two studies done some years ago- little field research has been implemented due to lack of funding. However, anecdotal evidence and personal testimony from members in the movement make it crystal clear that the social impacts are substantial 13 The SI will be made available freely once it is finalised (by Mid July 2006)
  23. 23. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 23 The most important kind of gardens to start with are the survival and subsistence gardens, which enable nutritional security. These gardens can only be sustainable if land, water and fertility inputs are functionally free or extremely cheap, as there is little or no cash available in families at survival or early subsistence level for purchasing inputs. Accordingly, technologies should by low cost and simple although high fertility, energy and water efficiencies must be achieved. ABALIMI targets to bring all community farming groups to the Livelihood stage, characterized by a mix of self provisioning and commercial activities at the garden centre as well as other value-adding initiatives (e.g. restaurant, compost production, vegetable shop, etcetera). Access to land and water; subsidized inputs It is an absolute fact that agriculture anywhere in the world cannot survive without being subsidised (via price controls, special loans, cross-subsidies or grants). Agriculture is not a normal straight-line business that merely adds value to cheap raw material. Thus survival and subsistence gardens and farms must also be subsidised- especially by provision of free land and very cheap or free water and organic fertiliser. The poor, for their part, are usually happy to work hard physically, together. People are often also prepared to pay for their seed, which can be cheaply supplied from decanted bulk stock. Permanent non-profit and wholesale supply centres are critical as a first step: without supply of cheap or free resources, there will be no gardening or farming of any sort, ever. There is no farmer on this planet that pays the full cost of their inputs. There is absolutely no need for large areas of land to achieve nutritional and relative food security at household level. One square meter of sprouts or fresh quick growing greens can make the essential difference to one person as far as nutritional security is concerned. Even 10-20 m2 of intensive organic garden can supply base-line nutritional security to one family of 5-6 souls and 100 m2 can provide all fresh greens a family needs year-round. Water can be recycled, harvested, conserved in the soil and deployed through drip lines or equivalent. Only 3- 4 litres per square meter per day is needed during dry periods. If there is no rain and no surface water, invest in wells or boreholes. If there is no water at all, get a job elsewhere or invest in a coffin. Production aspects Free access to bio-mass/organic municipal waste (we are not talking about human faeces) is essential and relationship with stock owners -particularly cattle owners- is vital. ABALIMI is about to start a campaign for “one cow-one garden”. One cow produces 10 tons of manure per annum, if kraaled overnight. This is enough to supply up to 1ha of community garden with all annual fertility requirements. Of course, small livestock should also be included, but small livestock, like fruit, is something that has a tendency to vanish if not kept under armed guard. But vegetables and cows (and goats) are less vulnerable to “vanishment”.
  24. 24. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 24 It is easy to begin organic gardening at a basic level, but to progress takes study and time and commitment to develop the required skills. Organizational and institutional aspects The “consumer culture mindset”, where people perceive land-based lifestyles to be backwards, and group dynamics, leading to disruption of production, are probably the two most important limiting factors to the development and continuity of agricultural projects and growth in the movement. However, we are learning to facilitate the inevitable organisational crises in such a way that they are learning and growth opportunities, not failures. The main tool used is Horizontal Action Learning Exchange, where the gardeners analyse problems and decide on solutions themselves. Group wisdom usually finds the right way, if everyone can be properly “heard” and group process is not diverted by dominant individuals. There has to be a number of service providers who supply what the gardeners and associations do not have, with a good understanding of the requirements of each level in the development continuum. As far as nutritional security/HIV-Aids is concerned, there has to be a nutrition education component to ensure that the quality of the food is not destroyed in the (over)cooking process. ABALIMI still has to find a permanent partner in the nutrition education sphere, but in the mean time we work with a few different organisations. Once micro & meso models have been developed and tested by civil society organisations (social entrepreneurs), the State should adapt and test the models on a macro scale. The State is functionally no good at innovation, but once an innovation has been trialed and tested the State has the capacity to apply it. As an alternative to the State, the movement itself can “take to scale” provided it is well organised and sufficient funding can be obtained. The movement can enable itself through Horizontal Action Learning, Savings Mobilisation and cheap Micro- Loans between members and Local Economic Trading Systems (LETS)14 Community Investment Programmes (CIP’s) use all the above tactics, to incentivise communities to design and execute own development programmes which address the full range of community needs, including food security through urban agriculture15 . Ongoing grant finance from enlightened funding agencies is vital to keep the development process in the movement rolling, by investing at all levels in the development continuum, and using the tools and approaches mentioned above to finalise in detail a sustainable model for food, nutritional and cash security16 for permanent local livelihoods and jobs (with urban agriculture as a key component!!), which the State could then take to scale. 14 For more info on LETS, see: 15 For more information on CIP’s, contact Dr Norman Reynolds at 16 Food security does not necessarily lead to cash security – e.g. a farmer can eat very well and have no cash- and cash security does not automatically lead to food security – e.g. a rich man may starve his family. Food security and cash security do not always equal nutrition security – e.g. there are millions of fat people who live on starch and meat. At survival or early subsistence level the focus is on nutritional and food security. When moving to Livelihood and Commercial levels, reaching cash security too gets more emphasis.
  25. 25. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 25 3.3 FOOD GARDENS PROGRAMME OF SOIL FOR LIFE Pat Featherstone SOIL FOR LIFE Cape Town, South Africa INTRODUCTION TO SOIL FOR LIFE AND ITS PROGRAMME SOIL FOR LIFE is a registered not-for-profit NGO that was established in March 2003, formerly operating as the Western Cape branch of Food Gardens Foundation, a national NGO based in Gauteng. There are four full-time staff and seven part-time staff. The organisation has a Resource and Training Centre based at a school in Constantia and all operations are carried out from here. Our vision is to make a significant and positive contribution to the health, self- confidence and family finance of indigent people in the Western Cape. Our aims include improving the nutritional and economic status of individuals and communities in urban and rural areas, to develop human potential and to balance human needs with nature’s capacity to sustain life now and in the future. SOIL FOR LIFE is implementing the following activities: • We run hands-on practical education and training courses in: small-scale organic food and herb production, soil improvement methods, waste recycling, health and nutrition, including medicinal and culinary herbs, nursery skills and plant propagation, food processing and preserving. The latter courses have been given to equip groups with the skills necessary to start a home business to boost household income. Part of these trainings are implemented for the City of Cape Town and there are many gardens have been started as a result. • Initial supply of compost, seed and basic tools • We provide ongoing support and advice to gardening groups that have been trained by SOIL FOR LIFE. However, many of the groups that have been trained do not have any follow support, since SOIL FOR LIFE does not have the financial resources to support all these projects. • We encourage the development of local networks and support groups. • We form partnerships with related NGO’s and Community-Based Organisations. RESULTS OBTAINED SOIL FOR LIFE’s work in indigent communities is important because: • People are enabled to put safe, fresh, nutritious food on the table every night. • Exercise, fresh air, good food, and the reduction of stress (all spin- offs of the food-growing culture) build strong immune systems and help in the fight against AIDS, TB, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and poor mental health. • A food-growing initiative within any community removes social, cultural and economic barriers. • Raising living standards and generating local trade circulates income within communities and pays for education and social services. • People create jobs for themselves and others. • The re-use of waste by community gardeners reduces the burden on local authorities and landfill sites.
  26. 26. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 26 Food gardens make a significant difference to the lives of many people. The food gardeners are obviously eating better. Many people are eating large quantities of green vegetables (particularly important because of significant Vitamin A content) from these gardens (and this includes thieves!) The food gardeners have some money to spend on things which they could not previously afford and they are getting all the advantages of healthy, outdoor exercise, companionship, new skills, a marginally improved life, and learning to work with other people as a group Many people also have gardens at home – the transfer of skills and appropriate technology is what SOIL FOR LIFE wants to happen. It has also been noticed that well-managed and productive community and home food gardens catch the attention of locals who, in turn, are inspired and encouraged to attempt the same for themselves using SOIL FOR LIFE methods. Lastly, with massive land degradation in South Africa, and alarming losses of topsoil, and the consequent loss of good agricultural land, how are we going to feed our burgeoning population? Consider what it would mean in terms of increasing the amount of cultivated land and reducing hunger if people could be encouraged to establish food gardens at their homes, community centres, clinics, churches, wherever there is vacant land; if everyone in South Africa had a food garden, no matter how small. In 2004 a survey was implemented on the impacts of six food gardening projects that SOIL FOR LIFE implemented for the Department of Social Services and Poverty Alleviation, with the following outcomes: • Between the six groups over four hundred people are being fed, as well as some of the food finding its way into the larger community. If more attention would be paid to replanting, (i.e.: just over one-half of the beds was planted at the time of the survey), there could be even more food available for community consumption. • Sales of surpluses generate an average of R14.42 per week per seller, which in these communities is a significant amount and makes an enormous
  27. 27. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 27 difference between a poor diet and shortage of food and an adequate diet, so contributing to improved nutrition in the community as a whole. With greater attention to better replanting and production methods, and more home gardens, the surplus for sale would undoubtedly increase. • The people themselves are very aware of the difference these gardens have made to their lives. Nearly fifty percent of the gardeners no longer buy vegetables elsewhere, and must therefore save money in this way, as well as eating more nutritious food. Also nearly half of the gardeners indicate that the gardens made life easier, presumably because finding food, or money for food, is now less problematic. Well over one third have found a great improvement in health, either their own, or their families. One tenth remark on how making money from vegetable sales has improved their livelihood. The impact appears to have been considerable, out of all proportion to the input. • The areas in which these projects are located are often areas of transition, with a movement of many people into and out of the area, so stability of the garden projects is a problem. Additionally some, like Mfuleni, have aging populations and death and disease have taken a toll of a number of the gardeners. A typical example is Driftsands, where the original twenty-eight members were later joined by eight TB+ patients. Of the latter, four have died and only one remains in the project. Of the original twenty-eight, only twelve remain in the project, and there has only been one new member subsequently. • Often there are also other internal problems. For example, Nolungile is a large garden located on a school property, and the school administration is not happy with the inability of the group to contribute to water costs. In some cases it has been difficult for SOIL FOR LIFE to operate without interference, from other groups or interested parties, in its methods and the administration of the projects. Yet despite these setbacks, there are some very positive results are evident. • A disappointing aspect is the small number of food garden beds being made at gardeners’ homes. This may be due in part to the absence of space and lack of security of tenure in the informal settlements. It is always considered best when the gardens are at the home of the producer. • The range of vegetables being grown (twenty-seven different vegetables) is impressive and a good indication of the growth in the attitude to eating vegetables. It is also a good sign that these communities are eating a more varied and, probably, a more balanced diet. However, with the exception of green peppers, they are still eating the well-known vegetables. LESSONS LEARNT Factors influencing the success or failure of the urban agriculture projects Lead by example. Whether it be home or community gardeners, nothing works as well as seeing other inspiring examples of productive gardens. By encouraging networks and support groups, standards are set and people are excited to emulate what they have seen. It is important to have a well-trained and motivated community person co-ordinating the project and to have a train-the-trainer programme in place. Working with groups of women, rather than men. If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman (Margaret Thatcher). Older women tend to have better staying power and motivation.
  28. 28. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 28 Working with people who have a rural background, and who are not too sophisticated. In other words, people who are not aspiring to white- or blue-collar jobs. It is important to take into account that many participants in these projects are characterized by: - Poor nutrition levels – low energy and interest - Low energy levels – either of infected people, or those who are affected by infected family members because they act as carers. - Apathy and ignorance. Low self-esteem/lack of self confidence. No vision. - Dependency syndrome and the mindset ‘no money, no work’. A mentorship programme (subsequent to the initial training course) which lasts for at least two to three years, during which time farming groups undergo an extension of the training, problems are sorted out, techniques are checked for correct implementation and people are motivated and supported. The importance of a follow up programme cannot be expressed strongly enough. It not only ensures correct implementation, but also provides opportunities for further training and motivation and the solving of problems, either with crop production, or with people. Service providers need to stay with projects for five, six or seven years. This is not generally possible with the way funding occurs. And therefore few groups reach the status of true self-sufficiency or sustainability. There is, however, the problem of changes within the group over this period. It is no good teaching people how to grow food without teaching them about good health and nutrition. People also need to learn other skills associated with
  29. 29. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 29 sustainability: food processing and preserving, food storage, seed-saving with a capital S. Access to resources • Small is beautiful, and bountiful. Large pieces of land are not necessary to make a difference to a family’s (or a community’s) nutritional status. Use production methods which are high yielding in limited spaces. Reduce soil compaction, and increase levels of organic material. Even simple mulching improves the harvest. • To increase the area of land under cultivation, food gardens must be established in individual homes, community centres, clinics, schools – wherever there is a small bit of earth capable of producing food. • South Africa is a semi-arid country and water is a problem. Water harvesting off roofs and other flat surfaces – can be achieved with minimal effort and simple technology using urban waste. Grey water usage, drip irrigation and water- conserving methods of production (e.g. mulching) should be encouraged. • Use of labour saving and easy to manage technologies: mulching, no till, raised beds, crop rotation, vermiculture, drip irrigation In order to reduce external resources needed: ° Optimal use of locally available resources i.e. reuse of urban wastes and ° Sourcing of second hand tools and equipment ° Local production of own seedlings in seed beds and simple nurseries and seed collection from crops and trees. ° Exchange of tools/services/products among community gardening groups and households: Trade vegetables for labour, manure, compost with community members and join the Community Exchange System (CES) and trade with a local currency (not money).
  30. 30. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 30 Production aspects Food gardening, the SOIL FOR LIFE way, produces high yields of top quality, much- needed food in small spaces quickly, easily, cheaply. Within eight to ten weeks of planting, a household can be eating. SOIL FOR LIFE methods work along the maxim – healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy people; and people are taught how to first feed the soil. South Africa loses about 500 million toms of topsoil every year and, along with it, go about six million tons of plant nutrients which are not replaced. It has been estimated that fertiliser use accounts for the addition of 1kg of nutrients for every 19kg lost forever. No wonder there is widespread malnutrition and depressed immune systems. Mulching is strongly advocated since it solves a myriad of problems. Liquid fertilisers – from seaweed, manure, compost, weeds and so on – boost plant growth and production. The production of leafy green vegetables are encouraged: NZ spinach, morog, CM Kale, walking stick cabbage, sou sou marrows, etcetera. All high in Vitamin A to boost immune systems. Especially the production of “cut and come again” crops is promoted (e.g. New Zealand spinach, CM kale and red Chinese mustard) since these are not only hardy, highly productive and nutritious but also important labour savers. The main (technical) problems we face are: • Upgrading the soil. Getting sufficient supplies of organic waste to fill trenches, mulch and make compost is a time-consuming and frustrating exercise. Partnerships with local councils, businesses etc help. • Installing and maintaining drip irrigation systems. Keep it simple. The attempts to increase food production through intensification and increasingly complex technology will only lead to increasing degradation of soils and soil erosion, and an increasing need of materials and resources. Apart from climate problems, lack of assured water supplies, poor fertility and difficult topography there are other problems such as poor communications, long distances from markets, lack of transport, high input costs, lack of credit. We need a type of ‘survival agriculture’ where illiteracy, lack of infrastructure and other such problems do not limit food production by every kind of community at every stage of development. There are methods to turn things around. Organisational and institutional aspects Things happen slowly. No major changes happen overnight. Partnerships with other NGO’s and community-based organisations strengthen our efforts in the field. Partnerships with Local councils and provincial government are important to get access to land and for the provision of organic waste, infrastructure etc. A productive and cost effective strategy to multiply our efforts are train-the-trainer type of programmes for staff of other NGO’s, clinics, church groups and other organisations that work specifically with HIV-AIDS patients and other vulnerable groups. This training allows these organisations to implemented urban agriculture projects with their own people.
  31. 31. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 31 There is a scarcity of funds to get projects well off the ground and on their way to self-sufficiency. Sustainability does not occur overnight. It takes a long time and therefore requires funding for a quite lengthy period. Our main sources of funding for these projects are the Department of Social Services and Poverty Alleviation. The Department of Agriculture has supplied some infrastructure. Other potential sources include the Department of Health, the City of Cape Town and private corporations. Sustainability comes faster if all available resources in communities are used maximally.
  32. 32. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 32 3.4 NUTRITION AND FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM OF KENYA AIDS INTERVENTION PREVENTION PROJECT GROUP James Onyango KENYA AIDS INTERVENTION PREVENTION PROJECT GROUP (KAIPPG) Kakamega, Kenya INTRODUCTION TO KAIPPG AND ITS PROGRAMME KAIPPG is a grassroots service NGO working with marginalized communities in the rural and peri-urban areas of Kenya, founded in 1996. Its mission is to addresses HIV-AIDS problems holistically through linkages with various aspects of community welfare. It attempts to build the capacity of communities to realize their full potentials and bring about positive change. It focuses its work on improving the status of women, children and youth living in the rural and peri-urban areas, through direct support and increased access to knowledge and information about the links between HIV/AIDS and other social concerns such as poverty, agriculture, nutrition, gender and general health. KAIPPG fosters an approach of self-empowering activism, which in turn helps in the development of programs to address the identified community needs. KAIPPG trains people to help themselves and encourages communities to collect, preserve and disseminate indigenous health and agricultural knowledge and techniques. Currently KAIPPG has 12 paid staff, 2 program volunteers and a large team of community-based volunteers. The paid staff include, 4 Nutritional Field Workers attached to the Nutrition and Food Security Project, 2 nurses attached to the community care and support program, 1 Projects Coordinator, 1 Administrator, 1 Accountant, the Chief Executive and 2 support staff. KAIPPG addresses the holistic needs of the HIV/AIDS affected households in rural, urban and peri-urban areas of Kakamega, Kenya through its Nutrition and Food Security Program. This Program was initiated in 2000; initially targeting 240 HIV/AIDS affected rural households. In 2003, the project was scaled up to reach 720 households, including 180 urban and peri-urban communities, particularly slum dwellers. The primary objective of this program is to improve nutritional and economic status and overall food security of rural and peri-urban communities and households made vulnerable due to HIV/AIDS in Kenya. The strategy is to build an innovative and integrated program that holistically addresses the food, nutritional and economic needs of HIV/AIDS affected communities and other vulnerable households in a sustainable way. The project attempts to holistically improve the status of the entire household where the children live; links families with each other, with local and national agencies, healthcare workers, and other "helping" entities so that a web of support and well-being can be established. The current program is serving 720 households enrolled on 24 NFS of 30 beneficiaries each, of which 6 NFS comprising 180 participants have been developed in urban centres. The success of this program is based on proper development of participatory processes that allow involvement of project beneficiaries plus other strategic partners from the time of project conception, planning, implementation and evaluation. To achieve this, the project went through a series of activities as briefly outlined below:
  33. 33. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 33 Community Mobilization and Nutritional Needs Assessment Activities The project started by stakeholder mapping and mobilization of communities. This was done through field visits and community sensitization workshops. This process helped in identification and sensitization of the community and other stakeholders on the proposed project and define the roles of the various stakeholders The stakeholders identified included community health workers (CHWs), trainer of trainers (TOTs), provincial administration (PA), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), NGOs and other Community based organizations (CBOs) within the project area. KAIPPG conducted 3-day non-residential community sensitization workshops in each targeted project sites. First workshop day focused on making the project known to the community and identifying and familiarizing with possible stakeholders and partners in each project area. Community leaders, MOA extension officers, MOH personnel and the PA were invited to attend. This enabled all stakeholders to identify their roles and assist in the identification of project beneficiaries. Approximately 60 people participated in each of the workshops. Day two focused on conducting the nutritional needs-assessment. The needs assessment helped to determine the common crops grown in the particular areas, the farming resources already available within the groups, the seasonal calendars, establish the community action plans, determine respective roles of each stakeholder and develop the participatory monitoring and evaluation tools. Day three focused on developing criteria for selection of project beneficiaries. Establishment of Nutritional Field Schools (NFS) KAIPPG established 24 community-based non-formal learning centres, called Nutritional Field Schools (NFS) in 24 sites. Of these, 6 project sites comprising 180 participants were developed in urban centres of Busia, Mumias and Kakamega, while 18 sites comprising 540 participants were in rural areas in Bungoma, Teso and Malava/Lugari districts in Western Kenya. Using participatory methodologies, 30 people per site were selected from vulnerable households. The 30 people were organized to comprise one NFS. Priority was given to older orphans; widows, low-income women and older vulnerable children who are PLWHA or HIV/AIDS affected household members. KAIPPG worked closely with its already existing community groups to identify group members from their home-based care beneficiary clients and those already enrolled on our other projects.
  34. 34. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 34 Establishment of beneficiary plots and demonstration sites Each member of the NFS donated a small plot (about half acre), from the family land, on which to grow crops. KAIPPG rented small farms for the participants who did not own or have access to the family land, while the multi-storey gardens (sack gardens) were developed for the urban-based clients. The crops to be grown were selected on the basis of their nutritional components, with priority being given to indigenous crops and vegetables. NFS members were then supplied with farm inputs and supplies, and equipment. Certified maize and sorghum seeds, vegetables, and fertilizers were purchased from authorized dealers and supplied to the beneficiaries. One farm demonstration plot was centrally established on each field school where NFS members met once a week to receive training and share issues of concern and successes. Community members donated the land for the demo plots. Where this was not possible KAIPPG rented the farm from the municipal land. Formal classes were held during the NFS meetings, facilitated by Nutritional Field School facilitators, Ministry of Agriculture Extension Officers and Nutritionists. The facilitators used the demonstration plots to show how to effectively prepare the soil, proper plant spacing, cultivation techniques, pest control, harvesting techniques and dietary intake for OVCs and PLWHA. Training of Vulnerable Households in Nutrition and Food production The participants were taught relevant skills and techniques to enable them acquire the needed nutrition and patient care skills, maximize crop harvest and have the potential to become more economically and socially empowered. The NFS participants who completed the above training and who were able to apply new skills of food/crop production and utilization were linked up to our Information, Communication and Technology project, which trains communities in integration of Information and Communication Technologies in HIV/AIDS prevention, gender and agricultural development. This in turn empowered the project beneficiaries to serve as facilitators in dissemination of information to the new field schools in their catchment areas, as the project further expands. Apart from the weekly meetings, small inter-care group meetings were held to share experiences on counselling, team strengthening and motivation and as a means of relieving stress. When the group members harvested their crops, they donated 5% of their total produce to new groups earmarked for subsequent growing seasons, in order to replicate and expand the project with minimal external inputs. During the weekly formal classes at the demonstration plots, community members were given a chance to ask questions on cross cutting issues, which were then addressed by the NFS facilitators. Condom distribution was also done on demand after every weekly session at the demonstration plots. Stigma reduction Reduction of stigma and raising the status of PLWHA was among the key anticipations of the project. KAIPPG achieved this through: • Trainings on the NFS • Organization of post-test clubs (PTC) and other community self supporting initiatives. PTC members are NFS participants that have undergone an HIV test and have knowledge of their current status. Its primary aim was to link beneficiaries and provide opportunities for them to share their burdens and experiences. By the close of 2004, 11 PTCs had been formed. Through the PTCs, clients were able to know each other, form strong webs of support and access ARV treatments. KAIPPG developed proposals for the PTCs to seek
  35. 35. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 35 funding for initiation of their own Income generating projects directly from the National AIDS Control Council (NACC). • Facilitation of joint meals with PLWHAS. KAIPPG provided the beneficiaries with food during the NFS classes. This ensured that the process of food preparation, feeding and teamwork was more practical, with the food being bought from the community, prepared as part of the learning process and eaten by all those participating on the NFS classes. Since all beneficiaries were eating together as a group, this reduced stigma. Since food was prepared on the spot and eaten jointly, beneficiaries could not divert the money meant for their food into spending it on other pressing needs at the expense of the food. Collaboration and Linkage of Clients to health facilities and other support networks In order to ensure that a comprehensive package of care and support services are provided to PLWHA and affected family members, KAIPPG worked with its home- based care volunteers and those trained by other institutions to encourage and motivate NFS participants and reinforce the nutritional training component of the project. CHWs are uniquely positioned to promote compliance with revision of diets geared for the client with opportunistic infections, eating disorders, and certain food intolerance related to HIV/AIDS. NFS members were provided with the opportunity to visit with previously trained NFS members to get a first hand view of the changes made in household dietary regimes as well as the impact the program made on food production and marketing. Apart from linking beneficiaries with each other into a sort of web, KAIPPG created strong linkages with several governmental and non-governmental agencies. CHWs strengthen the linkage of project clients with health facilities for early diagnosis and treatment of infections, such MSF Spain, for ARV access by the clients, hospitals and clinics in the districts of operation for the purpose of facilitating referral of the patients and provision of VCT and ARTs, among other services. KAIPPG also linked up NFS members with K-REP and SMEP-micro-financing organizations, so that members could access resources to start up small businesses and expand crop production. The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute in Busia and Kakamega provide some researched varieties of root crops (such as potatoes and cassava) to our project clients; MOA and MOH provide technical expertise to the whole project. The provincial administration assists with the security of the farm plots and safety of widows and orphan headed plots. These networks facilitated the provision of a complete care continuum to our targeted communities. It is hoped that these networks will further be strengthened as the project progresses in the subsequent phases so that they will survive and be sustained even after the end of the project. RESULTS OBTAINED Improvement of household food security and nutritional status of PLWHAS The project helped the most stigmatised groups (HIV/AIDS-infected and affected) to be self-sufficient in long-term food supply, and to improve the nutritional status of children. This in turn provided them with greater psychosocial empowerment and adaptability. Monitoring information shows that the households are maintaining their improved gardening practices, nutritional habits and methods of caring for PLWHA. In addition longevity of life and a delay in progression from HIV to full blown AIDS, has been observed in 65% of HIV infected individuals who were enrolled on this program.
  36. 36. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 36 Improvement of household economic sustainability In addition to linkages with micro-financing institutions, households sold other products of their agricultural activities such as animal cakes and margarines, thus generating extra income. This helped to improve both the livelihood of families and their general long-term economic and social standing. Skills development: The project trained communities in caring for the PLWHA in the home, good nutritional habits, proper knowledge on the importance of VCT and ARV treatments and also in reliable, innovative, and simple methods of food production and processing, record keeping and farm planning. This skill development ensured that the communities were adequately equipped to implement the project on long term basis using their own resource people The organization was successful to prove to the community that through proper farming practices food security can be attained. The plots produced yields, which were approximately 65% to 70% higher than the previous productions. Stigma Reduction and Empowerment of orphan-headed households The project activities made that the urban and peri-urban communities’ negative attitude towards farming and stigma towards PLWHA began changing. Other benefits and beneficiaries The project had benefited many people, either directly or indirectly. Each of the 720 beneficiaries was from a household of 8 persons on average, totalling to approximately 5,760 beneficiaries. Apart from this, all NFS were open to attendance by other members of the neighbourhoods. An additional 1350 persons not initially registered on the program participated in NFS classes. Local business communities also benefited due to sale of farm equipment and supplies to the project, as were the micro-financing institutions to which the groups were linked. Several local NGOs and Farmers’ Groups have adopted the nutritional field school model. LESSONS LEARNT The success or failure of urban agriculture projects that aim to positively influence nutrition and income situation of households affected by HIV-AIDS is dependent on a number of factors, which are presented below.
  37. 37. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 37 Creating access to Land and water Urban families normally have very restricted access to land and water for food production. In many urban centres open space for agriculture is limited and the faster the urbanisation, the more limited that space becomes. For this reason, the efficient protection of open spaces in inner cities is an important issue. Farming can be done on strips of land at the sides of roads, railways and power lines, as well as along riverbanks and on seasonally flooded land. In most countries, power lines are situated in non-residential areas and so, in the same way as river banks, the land over which they pass is often used as illegal dumping sites. These strips may be converted for agricultural use. Experiences in Kenya have shown that by creating community gardens in such areas, illegal dumping and squatting on such land can be prevented. Sack gardens can be developed within the inner cities where there is limited space and water. Hand drip irrigation can be used in resource constrained agricultural areas. Overcoming labour constraints: group and livelihood approach HIV-Aids affected households encounter severe restrictions in labour availability for farming (or other productive activities). It is for this reason that organizing people into groups is important. Groups assist in tending each other’s farms, as it is understood that the failure of one individual within the group would be seen as failure of the whole group. Group activities such as merry-go-rounds can be used to raise funds that can help in meeting the labour and other productive needs of PLWHA. Where the program has trained family and community care givers, these can be used to assist the PLWHA with day to day social chores including tending of the farms. Urban farmers to a large extent have other urban jobs too. This limited their availability and focus on training on the field schools. It is in this context that the program did not restrict itself to agricultural activities but took the whole of the people’s livelihood strategies into account. Most people, who get infected with HIV while residing in urban areas, immigrate to their rural homes during their final time of illness. It is important that during the planning of the program methods that are sensitive to these dynamic processes should be considered. Dealing with rapid change Change is a dominant feature of the urban context for many people, either real or anticipated. The rapid changes in the urban settings can be a major impediment to project sustainability. Housing insecurity, land insecurity, rapid changes in land use, immigration, shifting work opportunities, soaring land prices and an increasing interference of urban political and economical power groups will all have varying implications on the sustainability and long term impacts of the micro-farming program. Availability of high quality but affordable gardening Inputs Access to the necessary inputs for gardening from a local, sustainable source is an important element for successful gardening. Such inputs include seeds, seedlings and saplings, a regular water supply, environmentally friendly soil improvement techniques and pest control, fencing, proper farming tools and capital where needed. Community Participation Involvement and participation of the community in project initiation, design, implementation and evaluation will ensure active participation and ultimate ownership of the project by the beneficiaries. Having two-way channels for information
  38. 38. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 38 exchange is instrumental for achieving sustainable, improved gardening practices. Self- created local community groups are necessary for creating a voice through which the marginalized can be heard. Technical assistance, demonstration and training Technical support is especially important when new gardening techniques are being promoted such as growing new or increased number of varieties or year-round vegetable production, and when all these have to be linked up with HIV/AIDS care, support and mitigation. Training and other group activities around a central demonstration garden can serve to demonstrate different varieties, hybrids or other important garden techniques such as composting, use of natural pesticides, year round production, sack gardening and other topics relevant to community needs. Nutrition and HIV/AIDS education within the gardening activity Counselling to change feeding/eating behaviours and adopt positive attitudes for PLWHA is generally an important component of food-based strategies. Similar to understanding the indigenous approach to gardening, an understanding of the cultural context, feeding practices and interaction of drugs with food will guide nutrition education to achieve good health and sustainable behavioural changes. The garden or nursery can also be utilized as a focal point for nutrition education and social marketing to promote increased consumption of micronutrient rich foods. In addition, messages about a variety of other issues that influence nutrient absorption and overall health such as prevention of childhood illness, timing of meals/foods, intake of tea and other factors that inhibit nutrient absorption can be presented to households, HIV/AIDS care givers, orphan guardians, mothers and household members. Broadening from gardening to animal husbandry KAIPPG has begun integrating animal husbandry, fish, bee and mushroom farming, with its home gardening program. This is because of the important success of related pilot activities, as well as the fact that animal foods are a very good source of micronutrients, and that their bioavailability is better than that of micronutrients of cereals and vegetables. Implementing Integrated and multi-stakeholder programs Since agriculture is not a job of choice for most urban dwellers, it is strongly recommended that the program integrates other activities, such as the arts and communication, non-agricultural economic activities, into the program. Involvement of other stakeholders in program implementation will facilitate comprehensive support across a wide spectrum of community needs. Funding for support of the post-test clubs (PTC) should be provided within that of the nutritional activities in order to facilitate effective community mobilization for VCT and ARTs. The PTCs are very effective fora, not only for stigma reduction and PLWHA’s economic empowerment, but also for educating people on the importance of VCT and ARTs, including where and how to access these services. This approach will make the program more attractive to all cadres of people - youth, women, men and the elderly- and lead to greater program impact and sustainability. Monitoring and evaluation Monitoring facilitates the identification of problems and the development of solutions based on sharing between the beneficiaries and the program managers. Indicators are dependent on the program objectives and should include some that can be monitored locally. Continued integration of lessons learned from implementation and evaluation efforts is one of the key aspects to the successful scale up of this program. Evaluation and planning should be conducted at key intervals during the
  39. 39. Proceedings of the study visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (17-25 August 2005) 39 program period to improve the program. Follow-up of program clients and involvement of other partners in the monitoring and evaluation framework will ensure that problems are identified and tackled before they get out of hand. Semi-annual Participatory Project Review workshops were held with strategically selected beneficiaries, CHWs and partners, in order to assess the impact of the project. Achievements made during the implementation, challenges and lessons were shared, and action plans for subsequent phases developed. These workshops are normally broad-based so as to share the lessons from other projects of the KAIPPG program as this not only helps in creating synergies, but also to establish ways and linkages for the communities’ project sustainability in case of the unavailability of future donor support. Combination of funding sources A project of this nature requires both external sources of finance and reasonable contributions from both the beneficiaries and other local stakeholders. For instance, the overall institutional, administrative and logistical support to this project was provided by KAIPPG, using funding from USAID through Pathfinder International. The farm tools and equipment were donated by WORKAID -a British charity- while the ICTs component of the program was funded through CTA/IICD/IDRC/HIVOS GenARDIS Small Grants Program. On the other hand, the project beneficiaries provided labour and where possible, land. The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) provided some certified seeds while MOA and MOH provided technical support. Technology development There is still limitation of local technical knowledge in urban agriculture with no or minimal research having been conducted. More research is needed as well as capacity development for institutions undertaking urban micro farming in the context of HIV/AIDS.