City’s project empowers aspiring Migrant farmers

​​The City’s Climate Change Response for Migrants, Refugees, and Internally Displaced Persons project, set to launch officially on 3 November 2023, has already made a significant strides in its first leg with a grant of $200,000 (about R3.8 million) from the Global Cities Fund for Inclusive Climate Action (GCF-ICA). 

This was announced during an information-sharing and networking session hosted by the City’s Department of Social Development, through the Migrant Sub-Unit in collaboration with Food Resilience Unit. The collaboration also brought together over 50 immigrants interested in farming and agricultural experts to share knowledge, insights and strategies on agriculture in Braamfontein recently.

The four-day session held as part of the broader project’s goals to foster collaboration and learning within the immigrant community interested in agriculture and farming left attendees equipped with knowledge and skills needed to thrive in urban agriculture.

The participants engaged interactively with each other and expert speakers, creating an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. Asma Parsekle from the DRC Congo shared her thoughts on the event, emphasizing the valuable information she gained, such as learning about different types of soil and soil preparation for enriched growth. She also highlighted the importance of immigrants facing similar challenges coming together to find solutions and support each other.

During the information-sharing session, participants were introduced to different types of hydroponic farming, methods of cultivating and others. Netshithuthuni Ndivhudzannyi, an Agronomist at the Social Development: Food and Resilience Unit, delivered an informative presentation on basic agricultural and urban agricultural systems.He highlighted on the importance of choosing the right location for agricultural activities, considering factors like climate, soil quality and accessibility. Robinson Sathekge, the Head of the Migration Unit, emphasised that this training was the beginning of addressing the needs of international and national migrants, refugees, and internally displaced persons in dealing with the challenges caused by climate change in the City.

He said the goals of the programme extended beyond providing educational but also aims to establish and improve shelters for refugees and migrants providing safe and resilient spaces for those in need as well as focusing on the development of urban food gardens, contributing to sustainable local food production and improving food security.

“We are dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of immigrants, this an inspiring example of showing the City’s determination to create a better future for all its residents, regardless of their background or circumstances,” says Sathekge.

The participants in attendance were also encouraged to view farming as a potential source of income by growing their own produce not only feed their families but also generate income.

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