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Extension Opinion No.25: Grow the organic small farming movement

My hope  is that  common sense will prevail,   and extension services will in future be made widely available to the organic community small farming movement. This should be  via competent citizen sector organizations with solid track records of genuine success.   Government and its politics must stay out except to provide the good policy frameworks and funds,  or in cases where is it clear that there are no competent citizen sector agencies in place already, and uncorrupted public servants can be found who will do their work with humility, honesty and enthusiasm.

The organic community small farming movement is proven to be able to provide permanent fresh food and modest cash security for all,   at a full extension services cost of no more than R100 per farmer per month. 

For example,   the Abalimi & Harvest of Hope model in Cape Town is now servicing thousands of fresh food secure families and hundreds of modestly cash secure micro-farming families on no more than 100m2 to 500m2 land per micro-farming family. The set up cost to create a permanent  “500m2 micro-farming job”, given a  minimum 100 strong group of willing micro-farmers and 5 hectares of land,  is between R25 000- R50 000 (max)per micro-farming job. Each job is guaranteed to earn (on average) between R500-R3000 per month after costs , depending on situation and farmer discipline, and excluding permanent agri-extension subsidy of R100/farmer/month.  High value land is not needed, any bits of wasteland around and inside any village, town or city will do, where there are people willing to grow the vegetables and others able and willing to buy an abundant and  constant stream of seasonal un-poisoned fresh produce. 

The agri-industrial sector can decide who they want to use as their  extension service providers.  But they (the agri-industrial  sector) should not get more subsidized services per capita than small community farmers.

Whatever happens, and under all circumstances,  the organic community farming movement, embedded in and supported by the citizen sector,  will grow, since the ability to make a sound living off micro-bits of marginal land around towns and cities is not anymore a question. It can only spread,  since it is so cheap and easy to set up and run.  And it will get cheaper and easier as it goes along,  since its more a question of will, and innovation,  and not so much a question of money,  to get started and to keep going. 

Government, DoA and Industrial-agri sector, along with their investors, can then continue to focus their biggest budgets on their main interests- farming with GMO’s and Hydroponics. Their relatively small investment in the organic community farming movement will always be worth it,  however, for this movement will be there to pick them up when they have ruined sufficient lands and poisoned sufficient numbers of the population. 

Click the image for a view of: Abalimi Bezekhaya support small scale organic growers
Abalimi Bezekhaya support small scale organic growers
Posted: 11/5/2012 (1:09:57 AM)


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