Launch of first retail urban rooftop farm in the Western Cape

SA Urban Food & Farming Trust was part of the launch of the Handpicked CityFarm at Kenilworth Centre hydroponic rooftop farm today with Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis of the City of Cape Town and the organisations making the project possible, including Mr Price Foundation, Redefine Properties, and Fresh Life Produce.

By operating this new non-profit training facility, in addition to developing skills, we will be conducting an important pilot of hydroponic Controlled Environment Agriculture on a commercial model that will test the business case for similar operations in other non-traditional urban growing spaces, including rooftops as well as in vulnerable communities where soil health and water supply are compromised.

It also supports the work of our Langa Agrihub, linking food growing and improved livelihoods for youth in particular, thanks to the key role played by our project partner, iKhaya Le Langa Hub.

If financially sustainable, the AFRICAN GROWER vertical hydroponic system we are using creates a crucial link between skills and infrastructure investments made for social development and the livelihoods, jobs and financial returns that drive economic development.

The key question is whether a social development programme can also provide seed capital for economic development outcomes, and the data from this pilot will help provide an answer. If yes, it could shift thinking about the developmental role of urban agriculture.

Read the media release

Read media coverage from IOL

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