SAB and Anheuser-Busch InBev are taking inner-city farming to new heights.
The project is set to kick off with a bang with the installation of three rooftop farms in Johannesburg, all backed by the Department of Small Business Development and Small Enterprise Development Agency.
It will be facilitated by the youth entrepreneurship programme, SAB KickStart, and will be run by 7 young agri-entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35. They will complete a 6-month training programme before gaining access to the infrastructure and market.
The farms will be established at 1 Fox Street in Braamfontein and at the Outreach Foundation in Hillbrow. The facility at 1 Fox Street will be open to the public and serve as a demonstration farm where consumers can tour the facilities and see how the various technologies are implemented.
Not only will this create valuable business opportunities for young entrepreneurs but will also boost the local community as the fresh produce will be sold to restaurants and local communities around Johannesburg Central. Hola Harvest will support them in this endeavour, and all profits will go back to the entrepreneurs.
Approximately R2.2 million will go towards the entrepreneurs, according to the press release:
“The organisation has committed to invest R610-million into Agriculture, R200-million into Entrepreneurship and R190-million is earmarked for societal benefit programmes. Of this, approximately R2 200 000 will go towards growing Urban Agriculture and the ‘urban farmers’ needed to support this.”
Also Read: 10 Entrepreneurs under 30 taking South Africa by storm
SAB hopes that boosting this initiative will address the massive youth unemployment we are facing today, while also strengthening the economy and feeding the city.
Rooftop farming and urban agriculture is perfect in this regard as minimal infrastructure is needed to get it going, with a relatively short start-up period. Phumzile Chifunyise, Enterprise Development Specialist, SAB and AB InBev Africa, explained:
“We are helping to demystify some of the perceptions of farming especially that of a traditional sector only accessible to those with high capital, land and infrastructure, years of experience and knowledge. And what better way to address this than rooftop farming.”
Also Read: Johannesburg secures R2 billion for urban redevelopment plan