Stefanie Swanepoel, a field researcher for the Worcester Western Cape case study of the Food for Us project, recently published a letter in the 12th October issue of the Farmer’s Weekly magazine. The Farmer’s Weekly magazine publishes articles discussing important topics impacting the South African agriculture industry. Swanepoel discusses the context of the Food for Us project, explaining the need to focus on food waste and market access within smallholder farmer landscape and how innovative solutions may address these challenges.
Cellphone’s are being used used more extensively amongst smallholder farmers than ever before, with smartphones being widely adopted amongst the youth of the community in particularly. In 2017 the Food for us team, lead by the Rhodes University Environmental Learning and Research centre, developed and trialed the Food for Us application in two study sites, Worcester, Western Cape and Raymond Mhlaba, Eastern Cape, aiming to redistribute food waste and open up market access to smallholder farmers. This project concluded with some exciting findings which Swanepoel elaborated on in the letter published in the Farmer’s weekly letter. The concluding point of Swanepoel’s letter explained that even though new technology might appear to be the silver bullet to solve to smallholder farmer challenges, Swanepoel makes the point that appropriate mobile technology will only play a transformative role within agriculture if extensive support is offered to the users.
To read the full article refer to the 12October Farmer’s Weekly magazine in store.