Towards a sustainable approach to alleviate food insecurity through communal gardens : a case of Zimiseleni and Ifalesizwe, KwaZulu-Natal.
Nzimande, Zanele Zinhle Faith.
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Food insecurity is a multidimensional challenge of society. It requires an understanding of how the people who are affected by lack of access to adequate amounts of nutritious food can be taken out of poverty and hunger. In the context of food production in South Africa, it is a fact that commercial farmers produce the majority of food and contribute to the economy. The potential of food producers outside the sector of commercial farming has been studied. However, more is still needed to explain why rural people suffer from food insecurity when there is land that can be used for communal gardens and homestead farming. The aim of this study was to understand the potential of two community gardens in the uMgungundlovu District of KwaZulu-Natal, Ifalesizwe and Zimiseleni, with respect to food security from the perspective of crop production and utilisation. The study was a theoretical situation analysis over two seasons (2012/2013). A survey questionnaire and was walk were used to determine participants in community gardens and homesteads. The same approach was used to determine crop production and utilisation by farmers. The study is presented in four chapters. Chapter 1 is a general review of literature. Chapter 2 is a situation analysis of the community to understand their activities with respect to food security and crop production. Chapter 3 is a general analysis of crop production and utilisation. Chapter 4 is a general discussion and future directions. The study showed that people who participate in community gardens and homestead farming are mainly women in the Middle Ages or older. Community gardens are used more effectively than homestead lands due to better access to land and extension services. Farmers produced mainly exotic vegetables which they used mainly for subsistence. The major limitation of the study was that the sample size in terms of participants was small and it did not quantify the impact of produce on household food security in terms of alleviation of poverty and hunger. However, using two community gardens and two seasons helped to produce valid data and a good basis for a future has been set.
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