College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

Urban agriculture

The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) Food Resilience Flagship Project in collaboration with UNISA: CAES (Agriculture and Animal Health) have agreed to register and commission an ad-hoc Community Engagement Project that will provide free consultancy services to projects that are supported by the COJ on condition that COJ avails the project resources (i.e. land, labour, infrastructure, equipment, inputs etc.) for supervision  and mentoring the project recipients in support of profitable agricultural production that may provide Experiential Training for ± 20 UNISA students per year. Ideally the project is geared to serve CoJ’s at community centres in Region A (Diepsloot & Ivory Park), Region B (Waverly & Westbury), Region C (Tshepisong & Roodepoort), Region D (Diepkloof), Region E (Alexandra), Region F (Betroms & Pioneer Park), Region G (Orange Farm) and Eikenhoff Empowerment Zone. In 2016 the project registered 62 community members in Plant Sciences, 68 in Food Security, 52 in Agricultural Economics and 53 in Animal Sciences for training purposes at Afrika Tikkun Community Centre in Diepsloot. It must also be stated that more participants are reached at times when academic staff from the Department of Agriculture and Animal Health present agricultural production related topics on UNISA Radio.

In 2017 academic year, 25 community youth from Region C (Sparrow Village Hospice and Orphanage) participated. Additionally, In 2017, 25 Experiential Learning students were engaged for 3 months (i.e. July to September) in a “Train the Trainer” program whereby by academic staff members trained students as part of their academic development to make presentations (practically and theoretically) in simple agricultural concepts to 25 youth from Sparrow Village under the mentorship of academic staff. Experiential Learning students will submit their WiL Reports as evidence of participation in the CE. Suffice it to point out that 10 graduates will from 1st November 2017 joining the said “Train the Trainer” program as Interns who are sponsored by AgriSETA with monthly stipends of R3 750 to be paid for 12 months. Interns will write monthly reports that will be submitted to AgriSETA being statutory requirement. Urban Agriculture Community Engagement for 2017 culminated in the commemoration of the 2017 World Food Day Event at Sparrow Village Hospice and Orphanage on 20 October 2017 where the Guest Speaker was Mr. Rodney Mudzuli: Regional Manager: Urban Agriculture Food Resilience Unit in the Social Development Department of City of Joburg - Region C. Additionally, Mr M. Makungu, Prof DMM Mosise and Prof SL Lebelo were appointed to the Board of Sparrow Village Hospice and Orphanage.

CAES: AAH will use Participatory Approach which will entail the Transfer of Skills through structured training and advisory services at different venues including Afrika Tikkun Agri-Resource Centre (Region A) and Sparrow Village Hospice and Orphanage (Region C).  Additionally, UNISA will provide consultancy services pertaining to Environmental Impact assessment, feasibility studies; soil survey, land use assessment etc.