Households in Namibia are growing forward with better nutrition, income and food security after learning how to cultivate backyard food gardens in a groundbreaking partnership between the Food Namibia Consortium and Coca-Cola Beverages Africa – Namibia (CCBA Namibia).
The strategic partnership uses urban agriculture as a way to boost food security, stimulate job creation and local economic growth, and support sustainable urban development for the poor.
The project promotes healthier lifestyles and more nutritious diets, resulting in better quality of life for its beneficiaries.
The initiative was launched in the Erongo region and targets urban and peri-urban communities in DRC, Swakopmund, Okombahe, Narraville and Utuseb in Walvis Bay.
Among the jobs created by the programme are compost makers, seed growers, sales and marketing agents, gardeners, and trainers. The initiative aims to benefit 900 people and 180 households by providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to start and operate thriving backyard gardens.
Gardens have already been planted at 35 households and three schools in Swakopmund DRC, Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay and Okambahe, with about 650 people benefitting, including schools and soup kitchens.
Participating urban poor households have been able to produce food for their own consumption and for sale, ensuring food and nutritional security through dietary diversity and intake of quality food.
CCBA Namibia has contributed financially, as well as by supplying items such as water containers and pallets that have been recycled into garden materials.
Beneficiaries are taught how to efficiently maintain and use reusable materials to start a successful backyard garden with minimal costs, through a variety of demonstrations, training and mentorships.
Training is focused on developing resilient individuals as food grower champions who are adaptable, versatile, and sustainable in ever-changing environmental conditions.
With the support of CCBA Namibia, the project continues to develop SMMEs by training and mentoring more successful entrepreneurs who will be able to supply whole and nutritious foods for themselves, the community, and future national markets.