Tag Archive for: Food Security

As part of our constant drive to give back to our community, our team has endeavored to join together to participate in a monthly community-focused CSR initiative. The team comes together each month to participate in an activity aimed at uplifting the community around our head office in Cape Town, after which ideas are put forward for the following month’s initiative.

In this way, as South Africans, we are giving back not only on Mandela Day, but throughout the year, as the need doesn’t end after the holiday.

Naturally, we take all necessary COVID-19-related precautions when participating in the activities, so as to ensure the health and safety of our team members and those we are interacting with outside our office.

For our fourth month, in December 2020, the Relocation Africa team bought Pick n Pay food hampers, with the theme of ‘Improving SA’s Food Security’. Once staff had dropped off their hampers at reception, we handed them over to The Honeybun Foundation.

The Honeybun Foundation, a Cape Town based NPO, aims at improving the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals. It was established in 2014 and since then has worked closely with informal settlements and safe homes. In addition to this, the foundation also has a feeding scheme once a month and feeds roughly 200 homeless individuals at a time.

The Honeybun Foundation is committed to providing meals and easing the burden of families who are struggling during the COVID lock-down. When we saw their drive to collect Pick n Pay grocery hampers, we decided to join in. For more information about the Foundation, click here, or contact Stephen on +2771 382 5455.

We hope this inspires our readers and other companies to start similar initiatives, as if we all work together, we can greatly improve the quality of life of those in need around us.



For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Levana Primary School in Lavender Hill is one of 1010 Western Cape schools that depend on government’s National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) feeding scheme. The school has 1090 learners. Only half of them attend at any one time because of rotational classes introduced due to Covid-19, but “those children must still eat”, says Shamiega Charity, Acting Principal at Levana Primary.

Before the pandemic, she says they were feeding 300 to 400 children. The numbers have doubled. Once the learners are fed, any remaining food is distributed to the community. At the start of the lockdown, the school would feed up to 800 children and people in the community. “We would run out of food,” she said. A grade 7 learner told GroundUp that she will sometimes take a loaf of bread home for her family.

Lavender Hill has “severe poverty”, gangsterism, unemployment and substance abuse, says Charity. Teenage pregnancies are “the norm once you leave primary school” and “because the parents are young, they don’t know how to be a parent”. Most learners live in crowded shacks, some located right next to the school’s bulletproof fence. Children need clothes and food to take home; teachers assist where they can, she says.

Levana Primary was established in 1977 and is a no-fee school. The feeding scheme started over 13 years ago with peanut butter and bread. Today, the school has two organic vegetable gardens growing lettuce, potatoes and spring onions. There is also a medicinal and fynbos garden. As an eco school, environmental issues and sustainability are taught as part of the syllabus.

The food is sponsored by a network of organisations and people, but it is largely dependent on the NSNP. “The program provides funding to the school to purchase the required cooking equipment and eating utensils, as well as for the monthly gas purchases for cooking. There are two food preparers funded by the NSNP, as well as three gardeners to assist with food production,” says Kerry Mauchline, spokesperson for education MEC Debbie Schäfer.

The NSNP provides dry food items to the school every second week and fresh produce such as fruit, vegetables and milk twice a week. Five days a week children are fed two meals a day. On Monday, it’s fish breyani, Tuesday, samp and beans, Wednesdays and Thursday, vegetables, and Friday, soup or breyani.

“For many of these children, a school meal might be the only one they have that day,” says Mauchline. The situation has got dramatically worse because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the Western Cape, 473 174 learners are registered on the program, she says. Children can’t focus on learning if they are hungry, says Charity. She says one day she would like there to be a food dining hall where the children can sit together and eat around a table.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Zambia has over two million smallholder farmers and a rural population of about 9.7 million people, with approximately 40% of them being financially excluded

The average rural farmer in Zambia lives several kilometres away from their nearest neighbour and even further away from the nearest settlement where shops, agro-dealers and other services, such as agency banking and mobile money booths, would be located. Because the farmers live in remote locations making payments, sending and receiving money are activities not done at their convenience.

Zambia has over two million smallholder farmers and a rural population of about 9.7 million people, with approximately 40% of them being financially excluded. These rural people do not have adequate access to financial infrastructure and services. Not being able to make payments for supplies, receive digital payments or send money as needed means farmers’ productivity is limited. Subsequently, they cannot plan their next growing season, are unable to manage the shocks they may experience and cannot reach their potential. Therefore, providing smallholder farmers with the services they need to improve their productivity has a ripple effect on their livelihoods and the rural community.

Zanaco Bank recognised that smallholder farmers are an important segment of Zambia’s economy, and partnered with the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Agrifin Accelerate (AFA)/Mercy Corps to develop and test the go-to-market strategy for an account that offers farmers services to transact, save, send and receive money. Zanaco will also add features such as agronomic information and financial literacya to help the farmers become more productive, be financially included and better participate in the Zambian economy.

How was AgriPay brought to market?

To bring the account – called AgriPay – to market, the partners undertook several activities. The first was a research conducted by AFA to understand precisely what the farmers needed and what their specific financial challenges were. This research informed the human-centred design process of product development undertaken by Zanaco.

Once a product was available, strategies were designed to bring the product to the rural market. This strategy involved applying the Booster Team model – a concept adapted from UNCDF’s work in Uganda with a coffee value chain. UNCDF championed the use of the Booster Team to onboard agents that would enhance last-mile service delivery and build a strong ecosystem around the use of the AgriPay account. In addition, the Booster Team onboarded smallholder farmers. Zanaco, AFA and UNCDF also analysed what other factors would influence the success of AgriPay. 

One factor identified was collaborating with other players in the value chain that could provide linkages to agribusinesses. These linkages to agribusinesses turns shops or agribusiness locations into agents offering the banking services to smallholder farmers. These partners also leverage their network to onboard customers who could benefit from the services offered by the AgriPay account. By the end of the pilot, 50% of the Xpress Agents onboarded were a result of the partnership with Musika (a non-profit organisation that aims to support private sector development in small-scale agriculture) and 60% of the activated farmers accounts were members of the Cotton Association of Zambia.

The bank piloted the product in six provinces. The Booster Teams, comprising 15 – 20 youths, received adequate training in sales and product knowledge, and approached potential customers with a product they could demonstrate.

Who opened AgriPay accounts?

In May 2019, Zanaco and UNCDF deployed the Booster Team to undertake their sensitisation and on-boarding activities, beginning in Central and Lusaka Provinces, continuing to Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, and Southern. Each Booster Team answered smallholder farmers’ questions or concerns in a timely manner. This first-tier support increased the customers’ confidence and comfort levels with the new account. Using the Booster Team enabled 307 Xpress agents to become part of the AgriPay ecosystem.

By September 2019, 3030 customers, 53% female and 31% youth, had been onboarded onto AgriPay, and farmers were pleased with the introduction of the account designed with their specific needs in mind.

Brillian Handondo, a farmer in Southern Province said, “This account has really helped me. Once I receive money, I’m able to easily transact, such as sending money to my child in college.” This simple transaction was not something she could do easily before.

What were the critical factors for AgriPay’s success?

The learnings gained from piloting AgriPay helped in scaling the product. One area of success was pre-sensitisation activities. This critical component was done through partners such as the Cotton Association of Zambia, Vitalite Zambia and the Dairy Association of Zambia and helped to build trust in the product. The partnerships with the various farmers’ associations, non-profit organisations, and other implementing partners meant these organisations could approach farmers as ‘ambassadors.’

These organisations leveraged their strengths to become agents or reach potential customers, for example, Cotton Association savings groups and Vitalite traders became agents for AgriPay.

These relationships were also a key driver to the Booster Team’s success. Having organisations facilitate these partnerships elevates the product because of the inherent trust agribusinesses and customers have in the partner or the agribusinesses they are used to working with. This is an immeasurable success factor for AgriPay.

To successfully scale AgriPay to other parts of Zambia, the sales team has to gain a better understanding of the culture of the communities. Conducting sensitisation activities requires that farmers are available and involves learning the type of farming conducted in the community and planning around the schedule farmers follow.

To improve rollout, the bank might consider using roving agents in some areas who could better reach farmers rather than agents using fixed locations like shops or booths.

The AgriPay pilot achieved what it aimed to do – increase access and usage of digital financial services by underserved segments of the population. AgriPay is also successful because it provides a platform to increase farmers’ financial inclusion, and the account also allows digital expansion for the smallholder farmer and the community in which they live. Schools, hospitals, district or provincial offices can leverage the digital platform to carry out other activities in the community. This digital ecosystem of services greatly improves life in these rural communities and farmers can become more active in the economy.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.
Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], Megan Thomas [2].