College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

Urban agriculture project

The Department of Agriculture and Animal Health in partnership with the City of Johannesburg has been involved with a registered Community Engagement project entitled: Urban Agriculture. In this partnership, the COJ took a decision to embark on a food program, a Flagship Program which is an ambitious three year undertaking ending in 2015 to eradicate hunger and address the negative impact of poor diet. Although the program is aimed at all citizens, the target is set towards access to adequate, healthy and nutritious food for all.

From a strategic viewpoint, the Flagship Project firstly seeks to address the challenge of hunger and under nutrition brought about by food insecurity and secondly tackles lifestyle diseases brought about by poor diet, smoking and lack of physical activity. The implementation of the various city food security programmes must be streamlined and harmonised in order to enhance the impact and avoid duplication of resources. This is critical in order to build a coherent approach to addressing food security and over nutrition in the city in a sustainable and integrative manner.

The Flagship is divided into a five pronged strategy:

  • Pillar 1: Improve Knowledge Base aimed at enabling the city to develop a spatial map of food insecure areas.
  • Pillar 2: Public Awareness and Participation: Entails the mobilisation of the community to Johannesburg to actively participate in the roll out of the program and to take ownership for its implementation. Resource mobilisation from the private sector to support the program will be prioritised.
  • Pillar 3: Improve Food Access; aims to enable food insecure households and communities to access food supplements through the food bank. It also provides an opportunity to participate in food exchange program for waste and
  • Pillar 4: Urban Agriculture- Support; program provides support: Support to small scale intensive agriculture (both crop and animal farming); Local Packing Houses and Processing Facilities (Hub and Spoke): Full scale commercial farming enabled by leveraging and strategically leasing city owned; Agri-Resource Centres
  • Pillar 5: Promote Healthy Life Style Campaign: Promote healthy life style across the board ; Visible Media campaign: using all platforms; Mobilise private sector – strategic partner

A number of stakeholders are involved in the project, supporting the project in different ways. Some of these are Global Business Coalition for Health (GBC Health): Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development / Social Development Program: Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (includes link to national Dept of Agriculture and United Nations Development Program): City Parks,. Johannesburg Property Company / JDA: Johannesburg Market: City Power and Johannesburg Water:


  • Development of appropriate partnerships
  • Developed backyard/ homestead gardens
  • Trained agriworkers/ microfarmers linked to established Co-op
  • Sustained Food parcels to targeted beneficiaries
  • Developed food strategy
  • Identified and prioritised food insecure area's/ neighbourhoods
  • Comprehensive