Organic Urban Nutrition Garden

The initiative focuses on enhancing urban food and nutrition security through organic urban gardening.

Photo of Farirai Mageza
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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Farirai Mageza

Initiative's representative date of birth

03 November 1984

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Zimbabwe

Headquarters location: city

Harare

Where are you making a difference?

SAME

Website or social media url(s)

https://www.facebook.com/Youth-Agrarian-Society https://twitter.com/YouthAgrarian

Date Started

10/2010

Project Stage

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan going forward)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €10k - €50k

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit/NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

I founded Youth Agrarian Society in 2009 with the intention of bringing together young men and women involved in agriculture. Initially our membership was comprised of youth from rural and peri urban communities who mostly rely on agriculture as a source of livelihood. However with the continued economic melt down in Zimbabwe many urban communities became food insecure especially in high density areas. It is at this point that i realized the need to work with urban residents, training them on sustainable urban gardening at their backyards and open spaces.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Food and nutrition insecurity remains a challenge in urban areas owing to a number of factors including urbanization, poverty and unemployment to name but a few.Urban poverty - there are serious challenges of poverty in urban areas attributed to the economic, social and political instability, this coupled with surges in food prices, has left the urban poor with limited opportunities to meet their food requirements.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Our solution to the food challenge in urban areas involves organic production of leaf and root vegetables, butternuts, beans and other garden crops to meet food and nutritional needs. We offer training, agronomic advise and demonstrations to urban residents on the organic production of a variety of garden crops. The producers are also linked to markets. The target households in high density areas have been able to transform their backyards into market gardens.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

We make use of low input greenhouses to ensure controlled plant growth environment. This has allowed urban growers to high yields per unit area as a result of efficient water use and nutrients use. Mobile phone applications and Social Media platforms have been instrumental to urban growers in knowledge and skills exchange including the marketing of their produce.

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

We plan to engage with the local authorities, policy makers and residents associations to seek access to land to create centres for nutrition gardens in neighbourhoods around cities and towns on the country.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Since the inception of this initiative we have around 1200 growers supplying more than 30 000 households with fresh farm produce. Revenues generated by the each urban grower involved average $2000 per annum from the sale of various produce.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

A gross revenue target of $400 000 is anticipated in the next 24 months. This will be attained by increasing production by 20% through enhancing technical and financial support for our producers.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

This innovation is inclined to a number of the SDG targets especially on ending hunger, addressing nutrition and environmental sustainability to name a few. This will help in creating a shared value with the different urban communities.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Engagement with local financial institution to allow extension of credit lines and loans at affordable interest rates for the urban growers is currently underway.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Our team of directors is comprised of experts in different fields who have come together for a common cause. This is further complimented by our dedicated staff responsible for the day to day operations of the company. All our team members are fulltime committed to our company. As the founder of the company I have spent the last 3 years working towards the success of this, winning awards in the process and attaining training, mentorship and accelerators programs.

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

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