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iZindaba Zokudla - Conversations About Food

The JCCI Annual conference on Business Opportunities in Urban Farming was privileged to have as facilitator Dr Naudé Malan, senior lecturer in Development Studies in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg. His in-depth knowledge of smallholder farming played a key role in shaping the programme and facilitating the panel discussions with the emergent farmers and the private sector businesses that support procurement from urban farmers.

Dr Malan heads up a research project called iZindaba Zokudla - an isiZulu phrase for 'Conversations about food'. He realised long ago in his career that emergent African farmers hold the key, not only to transformation in South Africa, but also that they are able to produce food in ecologically beneficial ways and with clear social benefit.

At the University of Johannesburg, a community of practice has formed around finding solutions to these possibilities. The Department of Industrial Design afforded opportunities to develop cutting-edge technology for urban farmers and it was there the project was birthed. Soon it included graphic design and multimedia design and currently more than seven University of Johannesburg departments are involved.

The project focuses on the development of sustainable enterprises to effect durable and lasting change to the South African food system that will realise social, ecological and economic goals.

iZindaba Zokudla links the university, researchers, students, communities, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in the development of service-learning and applied research projects and has pioneered innovative methods for agricultural development. This has relevance for the development of new institutions for agricultural development, technology, markets and distribution systems for agricultural produce, relevant to the needs of emergent and other farmers.

Since 2013 iZindaba Zokudla has mobilised more than 150 stakeholders to each of its events and has reached out to more than 1000 emergent farmers and food processors to date.

This has enabled the project to innovate significantly in technology development, service creation, applied research and systemic change and evaluation.

iZindaba Zokudla has influenced numerous local and international research projects in the social sciences, engineering and industrial design, has led to the creation of new service learning courses that focus on community participation, and has led to a significant number of publications.

iZindaba Zokudla currently organises the Farmers' School and Innovation Lab (the Farmers' Lab), iZindaba iLanga (technology transfer with PEETS), the iZindaba Zokudla Free People's conference at the Slow food Soweto Eat-In and the iZindaba Zokudla Stakeholders Forum at the University of Johannesburg.


 iZindaba Zokudla Conversations About Food.JPG
 iZindaba Zokudla Conversations About Food.pdf

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