Farmer Eco Enterprise Development (FEED) Africa Programme

Case Studies
Agriculture, Food Security, Nutrition
​Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA)
Resource Publication Date:
December, 2013
Content Format:

This is one of 50 Harvesting Nutrition project case studies. Harvesting Nutrition was a contest held in 2012 and 2013 that showcased active projects working to improve the impact of agriculture and/or food security on nutrition outcomes. Co-sponsors were SecureNutrition, Save the Children UK, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Learn More.

Project Description: ​

FEED Africa is implemented as a one of six programmes of Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), a Non Profit Non Government Public Benefit Organisation registered in South Africa. FTFA’s objectives are:

  • To contribute to greening, climate change action, sustainable natural resource management and food security
  • To create awareness of the benefits of environmental improvement activities amongst all communities of southern Africa
  • To contribute to wealth creation, sustainable development, enhanced environments, capacity building and skills development.

In Africa there exists a high prevalence of chronically hungry people, malnutrition, and the urgent need to feed a rapidly growing population. Demand for food is increasing while supply is insufficient or even declining. FEED Africa presents a practical, pragmatic model that can be scaled up across the continent, to provide better nutrition, livelihoods and dignity. FEED Africa “Grows Food, Farmers & Fortunes”.

FEED Africa’s main objective is to enable small-scale farmers to join the mainstream agricultural economy. Small-scale farmers often lack the managerial and technical competencies necessary to succeed in the highly competitive farming industry. FEEDs provides small-scale farmers with support in product and land selection, skills and capacity building, technical support, production support, Enterprise Development (ED) support and marketing as well as pack house and logistics development. The farmers are supported with the necessary expertise and resources over a three -five year time frame.

Impact of project: ​

Many of the FEED Africa farmers previously had little or no production on their farms and food availability and income were scarce. Since establishing farms in these areas FEED has increased production and the local community surrounding the farms now have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food and all farmers maintain a healthy and active life. All crops are produced organically and take into consideration target market demand, as well as the dietary preferences of the local community. Many beneficiaries are also sufferers of HIV/AIDS. The projects assists these beneficiaries in ensuring they have a healthy source of food that is affordable and easily accessible.

Since its inception in November 2011, FEED Africa has won the Nestle Community Nutrition Awards 2012 (Regional and National), attracted R24 million ($2,4m) in funding, has expanded to five commercial organic farms and created 182 jobs. The goal in the next financial year is to raise a further $6 million to increase the number of farms to 12 with a potential of 435 jobs opportunities. 26 hectares of nutritious organic vegetables have been produced to date and total of 715 tons of nutritious produce sold, which has generated $1m income for small-scale farmers. FEED has also trained 350 farmers, thereby increasing awareness of the benefits of nutritional benefits from eating organic foods. FEED has also built three pack houses and purchased three delivery vehicles in the area.

This programme supports farmers who work towards improving the nutritional status of their communities by fostering a culture of organic agriculture as a means to reduce hunger and malnutrition. Its primary objectives are to ensure food security, to encourage women to view growing food as a means to earn an income, and to teach them the importance of proper nutrition and healthy eating habits for themselves, their families and communities.

Why this project is a Good Practice example: ​

In the context of address poverty and improving nutrition, Africa is plagued by a lack of awareness, knowledge, resources and expertise. FTFA has for the past 23 years been addressing these issues through its six programmes. FEED Africa is FTFA’s newest programme that is enhancing food security initiatives by empowering small-scale farmers to enter the mainstream agricultural economy.

The diets of the beneficiaries were previously dominated by the intake of basic staple foods (e.g. maize, rice, wheat, cassava, millet and sorghum) that are usually deficient in micronutrients – such as vitamin A, iron and zinc – necessary to combat malnutrition.

FEED has promoted organic nutritious foods, rich in micro-nutrients and has contributed towards better nutrition and a healthier lifestyle.

This is done by replacing conventional chemicals on the farms with approximately 1 000 tons of organic chemicals and 5 000 tons of organic compost. FEED uses natural resources sustainably as less water is used and healthier soils result. The farms minimise waste by recycling it in earthworm farms.

Impact Evaluation:

Impact evaluation in progress

Lessons Learned: ​

Many successes were achieved during design, preparation and implementation which have listed below:

  • FEED engaged the communities to take ownership of the model and ensured local capacity empowerment for long-term sustainability.
  • Beneficiaries were consulted and understood that food crops and income generation through cash crops was going to be the focus. This ensured the balance between the people, land and prosperity was maintained by employing Sustainable Agricultural Practices
  • FEED gained indigenous knowledge on practices of agriculture and dietary habits to assist during the planning.  
  • Crops for Local Nutritional Security have been the focus by improving the current production of food crops.
  • FEED introduced high nutritional value food crops
  • Aiming to produce food crops that focusing on diversifying and enriching the diet.
  • FEED is developing strategies for leveraging government assistance and interaction on nutritional food crops initiatives.
  • FEED identified, trained and empowered key leaders to take responsibilities for the implementation and created associated processes: planting calendar, irrigation scheme records, and land allocation records.
  • FEED also developed the governance skills, code of ethics and internal processes for the beneficiaries.
  • FEED engaged all stakeholders at the three levels of the community, Municipality and Province, ensuring their participation and that our efforts are aligned with the programme.
  • FEED encouraged government agricultural staff to attend training to ensure their understanding and enhance their commitment to the programme

Funders: Anglo American, Kumba Iron Ore, AfriSam South Africa, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), National Development Agency (NDA)

Primary Contact: Quinton Naidoo, Project implementer Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA)

Country: South Africa

Project Dates: Established in 2011. All projects are ongoing

Interventions: Target the vulnerable and improve equity, Empower women, Maintain or improve the natural resource base, Facilitate production diversification, Expand markets and market access for vulnerable groups,

Target Population: Rural farmers, Urban households, Women farmers,

Project Stage: Ongoing activities

Geographic Coverage: National