Tis an ill wind that bloweth no good.

Henry IV– William Shakespeare

The devastating effects of global capital markets arise from its twin pillars – extraction and exclusion.  Human existence becomes a commodity. Corporate business strategy unabashedly seeks to extract “every cent of value from a customer over the customer’s lifetime.”

Under duress, humans innovate. Unlike other species, humans collaborate with unrelated strangers. The greed of elites world-wide is forcing the  majority of humans  to employ these twin abilities – innovation and collaboration – simply to survive.  Yet in alienating those it needs to extract value from, global capitalism is instigating a new approach to exchange that will leave it behind.

One example of the sort of innovation and collaboration that is transforming our future is urban farming. There are many organizations teaching it as an approach to sustainability.  For some marginalized people however, urban farming is an approach to survival.

South Africa’s Abalimi  developed a successful approach working with a marginalized group.

Extracted from: http://abalimi.org.za/about-abalimi/what-we-do/

What We Do

Abalimi’s work can be best described by looking at our target group, core business and target areas.
Our Target Group are living in vast informal settlements, often referred to as townships to the North-East of Cape Town, where up to one million people now live, mostly in shacks and matchbox houses. Approximately 40% of its people are unemployed. The majority speak Xhosa and are recent arrivals from the Eastern Cape – the former apartheid homelands of Transkei and Ciskei.
Our Core Business is to assist our Target Group to, firstly, combat poverty by growing food sustainably, using organic methods, at home and in community gardens and, secondly, to plant water wise indigenous trees and flora in schools and streets, in order to transform the dune-sands of the Cape Flats into a sustainable water-wise urban environment.

Extrated from: http://abalimi.org.za/key-activities/resource-support/

Resource Support

Abalimi has two non-profit Garden Centre nurseries in Khayelitsha & Nyanga. From here we provide low cost, subsidised gardening resources such as manure, seed, seedlings, tools and organic pest control remedies to individual gardeners, groups and organisations. Abalimi supplies up to 11000 individual subsistence micro-farmers, per annum, from these nurseries. As the Garden Centre’s are based in the community and run by fieldworkers from these communities, they are accessible and affordable to our target ‘grassroots’ communities. Our centres also serve as training venues and have demonstration gardens that help to promote appropriate organic methodologies.

Abalimi is committed to developing a network of community owned garden centre depots throughout the informal settlements of the Cape Flats.

 Extracted from: http://farmgardentrust.org/projects/


As its first order of business, the Farm and Garden National Trust supports and builds Abalimi Bezekhaya as its leading food security model – with the intention to replicate, promote and support this type of activity countrywide in order to develop a thriving national micro-farming movement in South Africa.


Photo by luigig Photo by DFAT photo library Photo by bobbychuck24

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