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MTO: Vegetable Garden Project

Location: Eastern Cape

Project duration: 2019 - ongoing

Project objectives: To provide food security through the erection of vegetable gardens that serve the community.

Project deliverables: The erection of 600 vegetable gardens that service approximately 3 000 individuals in communities where unemployment is at 50%


Man watering vegetable crops as part of MTO Vegetable Garden Project

Since 2019, MTO embarked on a vegetable garden project in Tsitsikamma erecting 35 gardens for the local communities. The vegetable garden project has expanded into 560 gardens in 2020 and 600 vegetable gardens in 2021 and has since turned into a fully-fledged food security programme that is providing food to the 600 Tsitsikamma households – with approximately five members per household – in an area where the unemployment rate is at 50%.

16 individuals involved in the food gardens were selected by their communities to attend

a three-month business training programme. Most of our graduates took what they have

learnt back to their original gardens, applying it to increase productivity. However, one of the

graduates from this programme wanted to take his training further, so MTO helped him fence and prepare land upon which he could farm and helped give him develop a business plan and access to markets, on the premise he would help create jobs for the local community and become an inspiration to other young people within his community.

“Planting is something I used to do with my father,” Andile Msizi says. When MTO funded

his attendance at a crop production course, he could see the potential and embraced

the chance to see what he could do with 8ha. He grows spinach, beetroot, cabbages and onions and sells them both to the local community and the Loerie vegetable market.

Msizi is now looking to expand his business to the production of cattle feed, as there are a lot of livestock farms in the surrounding area that he could service. These are the kind of sustainable social initiatives we now focus on, where you help one individual reach their potential and in turn, they help many more. It has a knock-on effect, with others who have done the training seeing the opportunity this individual has takenand wanting to get on board.

Forest View tunnels

In partnership with Harkerville Agri and Forestry Projects, MTO is supporting a food-growing project in the Forest View community near Harkerville. MTO has supplied tunnels, as well as seedlings to the project. Like Msizi’s crop production enterprise, the Harkerville project serves to supply affordable food to families in the area, as well as spaza shops and restaurants in the area that support local supply chains.

With some shared infrastructure such as water tanks, the vegetable tunnels complement the

Projects’ existing Honeybush cultivation enterprise.

School food gardens

MTO supplies seedlings to several school vegetable gardens, which are used to supplement the School Nutrition Programme (SNP).

Harvesting vegetable crops as part of MTO Vegetable Garden Project

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