AQUAPONIC FOOD FACILITY
AN INITIATIVE to promote community involvement in food security has been launched in Orlando, Soweto. The new aquaponic facility aims to impart agricultural skills to communities that need them the most.
The joint venture between Mondelez International, InMed Partnerships for Children, and the City of Johannesburg’s Health and Social Development Department weaves into the pharmaceutical company’s health in action programme to build a healthier future in townships. MMC for Health and Social Development Mpho Phalatse said this type of initiative will help debunk stereotypes that agriculture is only practiced by people in rural areas.
“This myth has caused great disinterest for people in urban communities because it has always been viewed as subsistence farming for people in the villages because they don’t have any other option or access to food.
“But in recent years we have seen that there is a need because there is still food insecurity in urban communities and in Johannesburg. There are still people who go to bed hungry,” said Phalatse.
The facility is meant to help the people around Elias Motsoaledi Clinic in Orlando, 46 schools around the City of Joburg, and the area right next to the former dumping site.
Phalatse noted that urban agriculture continues to be a challenge for the city due to limited access to land… But with newage interventions such as rooftop farming and aquaponics, agriculture is set to be an economic activity that can be reinstated in urban areas.
“Children are definitely more receptive to new ideas. That is why we often target schools with interventions that we need to get to their parents or caregivers,” added Phalatse.