Harvest of Hope

Harvest of Hope (HOH) is a South African organisation funded by a Non-governmental Organisation, Abalimi Bezekhaya. The mission of Abalimi Bezekhaya is to alleviate poverty and create food security in a sustainable manner. HOH provides technical and monetary support for micro-farmers. Micro-farming groups typically consist of three to eight women in a section of privately owned land. Besides providing technical support for the micro-farmers, HOH also provides business marketing for consumers and farmers through the vegetable box scheme. The vegetable box scheme is a new business model that helps the micro-farmers sell their produce locally.

Abalimi’s goal for HOH is to support the under-educated, unemployable South Africans so they can lead a healthy life with nutritious food and income through their own initiative. Abalimi supports around 3000 micro-farmers each year at a cost of R100 a month per farmer. This covers all the operational expenses, including fertilizer, seed, seedlings, as well as the development of the urban agriculture economy. Additionally, free training and on-site technical support is readily available (MichaelE, 2010).

There are four different stages for this type of project. The first stage is called the survival phase, which is when the micro-farmers produce food for the farmer’s own consumption, often with little excess. Next is the subsistence phase, where enough produce is grown to fulfil personal needs, with a regular surplus to sell to generate income. The third stage is called the livelihood phase, also called the semi commercial phase. At this point, 50% of the produce is used for personal consumption, and 50 % is sold at market. This generates a reliable net income of between R500-R3000 per famer per month. This stage is a common goal of the majority of micro-farmers’. Achieving the third stage allows the farmers to lead a more balanced lifestyle, where work is rewarded with monetary value. The fourth and last stage is the full commercial phase, in which all the produce is sold in the market. As income increases for the micro-farmers, statistics from HOH show an increasing amount of interest and willingness to participate in this fast growing sub-economic industry (MichaelE, 2010).

The surplus grown by the micro farmers is placed in either large or small sized vegetable boxes supplied by HOH. The boxes cost R105 and R72, respectively. HOH collects the boxes of fresh vegetables and delivers them to local schools. The student’s parents make up the largest percentage of the customers. After HOH has received the payment, it is forwarded to the micro-farmers. HOH is looking to expand their consumers to businesses and institutions. HOH’s  marketingscheme has helped consumers receive better quality and variety of vegetables,  and improved the livelihoods of low income families.

The biggest challenge for HOH in this endeavour is quality control. Feedback from customers shows that the produce is not always fresh. A quality control team has been put in place in an attempt to assure the freshness of goods and raise the customer’s satisfaction.

Back to Marketing

Back to Homepage