The aim of the project is to develop and trial a mobile phone application in South Africa that diverts surplus food from low value waste streams while at the same time opening innovative business opportunities and reducing the cost of food. More specifically farmers and food buyers in the Greater Cape Town and rural Eastern Cape areas are invited to participate in the development and use of a mobile phone application and the internet based platform that supports it. The initial trials are taking place in Philippi/Khayelitsha and Stanford & surrounds in the Western Cape and Grahamstown and the Raymond Mhlaba Municipality in the Eastern Cape.
This work will simultaneously add to the growing body of research focusing on social learning processes, sustainable food systems and the reduction of food loss and waste in South Africa.
The use and piloting of the app during the project is open and we are inviting ‘early adopters’, social entrepreneurs, innovators and other forward-thinking producers and buyers of fresh produce to work with us in developing and understanding the potential for mobile technologies and social learning processes to reduce food waste.
Development of the application
The app will be developed and trialed during the project to ensure that it is fit-for-purpose and meets the needs of the users. The main structure of the app has been developed by our project partner LEAD Associates. However, we are very keen to ensure that growers and buyers are involved in defining the functionality of the app, for example what data needs to be included, what information would be useful as a buyer to make a purchase.
Two workshops, one in Stellenbosch and another in Grahamstown were well attended at the beginning of August 2017. Based on the outcomes of these workshops, a first version of the app has been developed and participant training will take place at the beginning of September. The app will be trialed for 4-5 months from September. Feedback will be gathered to further refine the app, with adaptations continuing to be trialed until mid-2018.
- Grow fresh produce (small-scale or large-commercial), or
- Buy fresh produce for a charity, feeding scheme, restaurant, hotel, small retailer or a similar entity
we would like to invite you to participate in trialing the app.
Requirements of participants will include using the app during the trial period to sell or buy surplus fresh produce (or for small-scale farmers to trade fresh produce). It will also include participation in 1 to 2 interviews and or site visits by experienced researchers during the project period.
Don’t operate in the selected areas, not a problem
If you don’t operate in Philippi/Khayelitsha; Stanford & surrounds in the Western Cape or Grahamstown and the Raymond Mhlaba Municipality in the Eastern Cape, this is not a problem. You can still download and use the app and we would very much welcome your involvement. The only difference is that your use will not be included in the formal trial and research.
Find out more or get involved
If you are interested in participating in the trial, or using the application, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
If you know of other growers or buyers who would also be interested in trialing the application, please pass this call onto them.