South Africa: Western Cape's first urban rooftop farm launched

Redefine Properties has unveiled the first retail urban rooftop farm in the Western Cape at its Kenilworth Centre in Cape Town’s southern suburbs. The HandPicked CityFarm, developed in partnership with Mr. Price Foundation’s HandPicked program and other key partners, aims to create community-based informal economic opportunities and to promote local food security.

The project is structured so that Redefine Properties will donate the use of the space to the Mr. Price Foundation’s HandPicked program, with income generated by the farm used to fund the project. Other key partners include Fresh Life Produce and SA Urban Food & Farming Trust/Oranjezicht City Farm.

“Our aim is to create a meaningful and sustainable long-term solution to tackle youth unemployment and, in turn, food security in our immediate community or catchment area. We believe this project will set an example for how landlords can change the way retail properties are managed and developed so that lives, communities, and the environment are impacted positively,” says Anelisa Keke, chief sustainability officer at Redefine.

The project will include a skills development program that educates youth on how to develop an agricultural business in an urban environment through a partnership with the Mr. Price Foundation’s HandPicked program, its training partner SA Urban Food & Farming Trust/Oranjezicht City Farm, and the Black City Farm Project based in Langa.

Project beneficiaries will be sourced from the Langa community. Two unemployed young people from Langa will be upskilled each month, and 24 young people over a 12-month period. Thereafter they will be provided with the resources to set up and run their own productive entrepreneurial urban farms in their backyards.

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