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Living Soils Community Learning Farm appoints Food Security Specialist as new programme manager

The Living Soils Community Learning Farm (Living Soils) proudly welcomes Namhla Skweyiya, a distinguished Food Technologist and Food Security Specialist, as the new Programme Manager. Namhla’s wealth of expertise and passion for regenerative agriculture align perfectly with the vision of Living Soils, marking a significant milestone for the project as it enters into its sixth year.

Living Soils is a partnership project between Woolworths, Spier Wine Farm and the Sustainability Institute. It aims to address food security, climate change, soil and biodiversity loss, poverty and unemployment, and agriculture inclusivity in South Africa.  

As Programme Manager at Living Soils, Namhla will be building on a solid foundation left by outgoing programme manager Rirhandzu Marivate, which includes playing a pivotal role in planning, executing, and overseeing the goals and objectives of the Living Soils project. Her responsibilities will include contributing to program improvement, building effective relationships with stakeholders, promoting sustainable agriculture, managing budgets and supporting strategic initiatives aimed at empowering young farmers and communities.

With over two decades of experience, including a substantial tenure at Woolworths as a Food Technologist, Namhlathereafter transitioned into farming which cemented her commitment to making a tangible impact on sustainable agriculture.  Her dedication to the sector extends beyond farming, as seen through her advocacy for the rights and challenges faced by female farmers.

One of the keen learnings for Namhla while serving on the board of FoodForwardSA, which will be invaluable to her new role, is the importance of partnerships and collaboration in addressing food security at both local and national levels.

Living Soils is enthusiastic to welcome Namhla Skweyiya to the team as her passion for food security, coupled with her expertise in food technology, food security and farming, makes her the ideal candidate to lead the project.  Namhla’scommitment extends to empowering the next generation of sustainable agriculture leaders and practitioners. Through mentorship, hands-on training, and educational opportunities, she aims to cultivate a cadre of individuals passionate about regenerative farming practices.

Namhla Skweyiya expressed her enthusiasm for her new role, stating, “I am honoured to join the Living Soils team and contribute to such a meaningful project.  Regenerative agriculture is essential for ensuring food security, social equity and building resilient communities. I look forward to working collaboratively with stakeholders to empower communities and promote sustainable agricultural practices.”

Under Namhla’s leadership there is no doubt that the Living Soils project will propel towards even greater success in its mission to empower communities and future farmers to take control of their food system.

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