South Africa has ranked the highest in food security out of 28 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), but affordability still remains low.According to The 2020 Global Food Security Index (GFSI) report,while the country still performs well in terms of the general availability of food in the country, SA’s global ranking still fell from 67th to 69th, out of 113 countries.
“The lack of food safety net programmes or effective food safety net programmes has been a main driver of this decrease, as well as increasing costs of food. Overall, food affordability deteriorated, partly due to food price inflation and loss of income due to the pandemic,” said business director for Corteva Agriscience Southern Africa, Tony Esmeraldo.
To address the challenges of food affordability in Knysna,a group of women who were moved to action through empathy for those who are struggling to eat nutritious meals on a daily basis,started a food security project called Growing Upwards.They worked to identify suitable leaders in the community who could be assisted and trained to establish and sustain a garden as a food source.
Growing Upwards uses donations from the local community to establish gardens in areas that had seen a decline in nutritional meals come breakfast and dinner time.The group just finished planting up their sixth community garden; the garden has been established to help supply food to a local soup kitchen.
Since launching the project late last year, the organisation has played a role in providing five community gardens in Knysna and the surrounds. They have worked on partnerships with businesses as well as the public to reach this milestone.
Going forward, Growing Upwards plans to go back and provide training to the people while empowering them to grow different foods according to the seasons.