How to design your operations for sustainability: A report on the iZindaba Zokudla Farmers’ Lab 20 A
This edition of the Nxazonke course focused on how to build the individual systems and activities of a sustainable urban agricultural enterprise.
We approached this issue from a broad “designerly” perspective, but we also emphasizes singular and individual actions and themes in a sustainable enterprise.
The circular character of sustainability becomes quite obvious in this delivery. In all cases, we need to take seriously the metaphor of a circle, and this is expended here from things like water and waste to institutions. In all cases, we can identify circular processes that feeds these sub-systems of the enterprise, and it is imaginatively creating these, that those sustainable effects emerge in an enterprise.
We also emphasize key actions you could take to build these circular systems. Something like packaging is not only an opportunity to avoid plastic and emissions, but also an opportunity to add value: you could illustrate the identity of your enterprise in the packaging, and some even insert seeds for re-planting, in the packaging materials. The idea and metaphor of a circular enterprise allows us to think beyond how we have always done things and offers real opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs to shape their enterprises.
When we think of the operations of the enterprise, we can divide the enterprise into individual sub-systems. Each cub-system is a self-contained whole and a little system on its own – a Holon. The design of the enterprise is to design each subsystem properly and also properly integrate it with the overall wholistic system.
The key things to note in the design of the operations of the enterprise are thus the following:
1. The overall design of the system: Permaculture design as a model. Permaculture design methodologies embark from the premise that we must follow the natural flows of energy, water, materials and people on the farm, and in this way enhance these flows. For instance, water needs to flow into the ground and not off the farm. It has to be stored at the highest point of the farm or operational area. Its flows need to be slowed so the water enters the ground and is stored there. There are ample resources available on permaculture design on the internet, and anyone can become familiar with these principles. These are also very useful for large commercial farmers and are practical and based-on common sense. They would be useful to many!
2. Water systems and their flow and design: let’s plant water! The flow of water needs to be slowed, and water needs to be stored. Key technologies here are contouring the lands and digging swales so you trap and “plant” water. Water can also be stored in the ground, and an organic rich raised bed will store water over long periods of time. The way the water and the raised bed interacts with each other, is also something that you need to design for! The convergence of water and other technologies is a key case in point and these overlaps need to occur often on the farm.
3. Waste: desing multiple cycles and enterprises. Wastes need to be converted into “by-products”. Wastes also need to be processed multiple times. Biowaste for instance, should first be checked for human consumption, and if necessary, processed to a more acceptable level. Then the waste needs to be fed to animals first, and only after that, can the most unattractive wastes be composted. The compost should, before it is added to the ground again, fed to worms, and after that, separate the liquid from the solids. The liquids need to be blended with other liquids and waste before giving it to plants. The solids could inoculate another compost heap, speeding up its processing. It is these multiple systems that interact with each other that creates the value that builds sustainability.
In addition to this, ancillary enterprises need to be created, as the urban farmer is in a key position to build multiple enterprises. As an urban farmer harvests waste from neighbors, they should harvest recyclable waste as well.
4. Energy: start north. Design your farm to face north, as the sun shines from the north. This simple orientation will benefit your farm at multiple levels. Energy systems do not always concern obvious technologies that use energy, as our example of the sun shows. We also store and move energy in leaves, grass, water and soil. The way the energy system works is by integrating and combining technologies with materials, and we need to be attentive to these workings to build a good energy system. Think of your own movements and labour, as this is also part of the energy system. Design your farm so you expend the least amounts of energy in doing your daily things. Locate your chicken coop close to where you live as you need to check them more than once a day. This design feature will save you energy. Do this for every piece of infrastructure on your farm.
If you are using a high-tech energy system like a renewable energy system, think of the cycle of amortization. The energy received from it must pay off the system. This means you must enhance the energy system as you want to pay-off this system as soon as possible. If you wash the panels every day you will enhance the generating capacity. The water you use will be full of nutrients from the dust. This could stimulate your compost heap, or feed your worms. The worms casings will be good for your raised beds … The integration of activities and processes is what you need to build for, and you would want to integrate these value-added features first on your most expensive system: your energy system.
5. Soil system: Build a nexus in the soil, so multiple technologies converge on a single technology or activity. A good example is a raised bed. A soil system is an instance of converged technology. In the soil, innumerable organisms and human practices collide, and in this collision, value could be created. The way we design our lands is a case in point. Should you have contours on your land, with swales and deep trench beds lined up alongside the contour line, you will be catching water and other materials simply by the way the land is laid out. This design converges certain features, with the bonus of additional material flows and additional biological processes on the farm. Think of how this raised bed, fed underground by slowly flowing water, will react to a daily application of liquid manure. Or how it would react to facing north, which would immediately enhance all the other flows that occur in this particular bed. Farmers are taught not to think of these convergent features of their lands, and this is the cue an emerging and new farmer needs to follow: this will give the key competitive advantage to the farmer.
6. Institutions as interactions enable people to participate. As we build systems that help with the flow of materials and organisms on the farm, we also have to build political institutions. Small farmers are vulnerable in politics, and this is often due to the marginal position they occupy in the informal sector. Farmers need to understand that they are in a reciprocal relationships with their political authorities. Engaging with them could enable them to influence decision making and lead to a better position in policy-making and in the economy. Farmers need to realise, as they give, they will receive, and this kind of engagement needs to be planned for if we want to build successful businesses in urban agriculture.
This “theoretical” session was followed by a presentation by Juanita van der Walt on the differences between traditional supply chains and short food supply chains.
The hallmark of a sustainable food system would be a short supply chain. This is not only due to the long supply chains in our current food system (which we want to avoid), but because a short supply chain would create a more competitive enterprise.
It is possible to eliminate almost all steps in the traditional supply chain. Urban farmers are very well placed to build short supply chains into the business, and we have discussed this extensively in the blogs on this website. A short supply chains enables the producer to capture most of the value of the produce they produce, and also allows influence and control over this supply chain, and the stakeholders who patronize it.
When a farmer is in control of their supply and value chains, they are able to exert control over things like packaging. Many farmers buy packaging as a “standardized” item, and this is consistent with the conventional systems that transports food over large distances and where the producer disappears from the product. An urban farmer, who knows her own customers, cannot engage in this business practice. They need to customize their packaging as they themselves have to feature on this packaging. Packaging is an opportunity to build a two-way relationships with the customer.
An urban farmer should also use that which is already available. Transportation is a good case in point. Idle taxis and bakkies can offer a key transportation service for the urban farmer. It is in the convergence of an idle taxi and a delivery opportunity where sustainable value is created.
Farmers’ markets would encapsulate all the features of a short supply chan. The farmers’ market would represent a singular chain in a large value chain, and in many cases would be whole value chain itself: farmers only need a farmers market to realise this short value chain system, and this indicates the great opportunity of developing a farmers market.
Farmers should also look at additional kinds of Community-supported agriculture, from allowing farm visits, to vegetable box schemes, in building their enterprises.
There are also several mobile apps that can be integrated into the subsystems of the farm. These include finance, traceability, and other features and indicates an urban farmer can build a pretty sophisticated business from anywhere on earth. These apps also link to organisations that can provide assistance to urban farmers, and this is another instance of building a reciprocal institution amongst urban farmers and others. This is the way to go, and we do hope these suggestions are useful.
Please see the unedited transcript below:
00:00:00.000 --> 00:00:14.340 Malan, Naude Good day, everybody and hello to Quena, Wilfred. Little Lord Naholo little Honolulu. Thank you so much for joining us and we are fully aware that we are sitting in the middle of a loud shared.
00:00:15.070 --> 00:00:23.120 Malan, Naude So we kind of expecting very few people to come, although we are very, very happy that this is being recorded on Facebook for posterity.
00:00:24.270 --> 00:00:45.580 Malan, Naude So, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the edition of the 20th of April 2022 of the Virtual Farmers Lab at IZINDABAZOKUDLA. Today, we'll be talking about operations and how to design and construct and develop your business for sustainability. And we will be doing too short presentation in this regard.
00:00:46.780 --> 00:00:55.460 Malan, Naude However, before we get to that, please let me alert you to our next edition, which will take place in two weeks time on the 4th of May.
00:00:57.310 --> 00:01:27.610 Malan, Naude And this will this will deal with inclusion, trust and cycled in stakeholder engagement for for enterprise development in the next edition, we'll be looking at how you could bring in the community into your enterprise not only for product design, but to develop the systems in the enterprise and also to build trust and and some kind of a process of engagement with the community because that is gonna be really important in product, in the things that I've mentioned.
00:01:28.560 --> 00:01:39.850 Malan, Naude So please join us then in two weeks time at the same place, same time at 5:30 either on Facebook or just follow the link from our blog on the website.
00:01:40.830 --> 00:02:03.000 Malan, Naude However, today I'll be talking about how to design your enterprise for sustainability and how to design the subsystems of of the enterprise for sustainability. Now please forgive us because we do. We just discuss this before we started and we remarked that we, you know, many of the themes are reoccurring in these additions that we're delivering.
00:02:03.810 --> 00:02:25.200 Malan, Naude So this is because the of the pervasive pervasiveness of these things. These are the things that really need to be given attention if you want to build a sustainable enterprise. However, these things can also help you with just any normal kind of enterprise to sharpen and optimize the things and the activities the processes in the enterprise. And that's actually quite important.
00:02:25.990 --> 00:02:39.240 Malan, Naude So what I'll be doing today is to actually touch base on the heart of of sustainable design. So the heart of sustainable design draws from many other sources and I'll be focusing on one of them only.
00:02:39.910 --> 00:02:55.190 Malan, Naude But this is really about the interaction amongst the systems in your enterprise and it's this interaction that creates the sustainability effects and it is in fact the interaction that creates the products and and and all the processes in the enterprise.
00:02:56.180 --> 00:02:58.970 Malan, Naude So please do allow me to share my screen.
00:03:00.830 --> 00:03:10.190 Malan, Naude And she my PowerPoint presentation so that we can understand what it means to design for circularity and sustainability.
00:03:11.940 --> 00:03:25.650 Malan, Naude So what I'll what will be doing today is to look at all the systems in a business. Now there are many other systems which are not covered in this lecture and we we we have limited time but we want to touch on the main systems.
00:03:26.690 --> 00:03:55.150 Malan, Naude And we want to present these systems as a Nexus and you will see that for food and to some extent for institutions, the way I'll be presenting it is to show that at those points these systems interact and integrate and it forms a form of a Nexus where there are different systems that operate at the same time. And it is actually in building these Nexuses in your enterprise that that is the key to sustainability.
00:03:56.190 --> 00:04:11.050 Malan, Naude So we'll be looking at water waste, energy, food, which is a combination of soil, water, energy, water and of also waste haven't got it there, but it will definitely form part of that.
00:04:11.920 --> 00:04:42.270 Malan, Naude I'll be also talking a little bit about institutions, which is not something that we would normally think of as part of a your your circular design of a of an enterprise. But institutions really are the lifeblood of how our society functions and these what are called regular patterns of behavior can also be approached as a circular design problem. Juanita will will in the presentation with a look at logistics, retail and technology and she will give us.
00:04:42.370 --> 00:04:49.380 Malan, Naude A few examples of how we should approach you know those issues at from a sustainable and circular perspective.
00:04:51.550 --> 00:04:54.860 Malan, Naude So the way I'm going to present this is actually to draw on.
00:04:56.310 --> 00:05:27.750 Malan, Naude Uh, in a precedence and and to to direct the the viewers to to sources that can actually serve us more important learning resources in this regard and in this regard, I would recommend that every student of circular enterprise be there, farmer, caterer or anyone else. Actually the spindle of a little bit of time on the idea of permaculture design. So permaculture design is is a design of an enterprise and organization, a system.
00:05:27.910 --> 00:05:58.580 Malan, Naude A farm, a household, anything, and that follows the natural flows of energy, water and material, people, ideas, etcetera. And the question of design is to enhance these natural flows and enhance the interaction amongst these systems. So what you would have to do is to design your whole enterprise from from an overall perspective and to design the overall.
00:05:58.660 --> 00:06:08.450 Malan, Naude The system as a design of the sub systems that are integrated with each other. So I'm using this really new word. It's only about 40 years old called holons.
00:06:09.560 --> 00:06:13.050 Malan, Naude So a whole lot is a is a self contained system in itself.
00:06:13.770 --> 00:06:38.380 Malan, Naude But many different holons create a holistic hole, so each little hole on is a system on its own that needs to be fed. That gives also outputs and has processes inside, but it kind of exists in a context of other holons and, and this is always the case when you design something from as a system, you always have to understand how the other systems feed into this system.
00:06:39.480 --> 00:07:07.030 Malan, Naude But this is really hard work. You know you have to actually look at the actual material flows and how do they interact and these are real, real things. How does water flow? How does the energy flow? How do people move over your farm? And permaculture design gives us an idea that all these things could be harmonized in some way. And and this this could actually enable this, the enterprise to be sustainable.
00:07:08.840 --> 00:07:39.750 Malan, Naude So look at them. You know, there's there's one link there on the on the, on the screen and and and and and this will be posted in the blogs. So you can follow this. But I mean you don't really need to follow a link cause you can Google this and you can actually find perhaps even better stuff than I'm recommending here. So. So in this example they talk about water, water systems. So. So really what you gotta think about is how water flows and actually the first principle is that your water storage has to be at the highest point.
00:07:39.980 --> 00:08:03.300 Malan, Naude Of your farm or your enterprise and and you have to capture the water so that it flows to this highest point. So you have to capture it higher than the highest point or on top of it, or you have to somehow get the water to the highest point because once it's there a gravity will do the rest and and that then becomes a free resource. If you need it. But it is only there if you design it like that.
00:08:04.550 --> 00:08:18.630 Malan, Naude Also, what do you need to understand is that the water will flow through your whole farm, so the sequencing of the artifacts, the flows, the landscape, you know, permaculture design says the first thing that you would do is.
00:08:19.440 --> 00:08:49.250 Malan, Naude I'm look at the contours in your phone and and draw those contour lines and make your beds where you plant level with those contour lines so that the water doesn't flow off the off the bed but flows down into the ground on the contour. You can also dig a swell which is like a trench so that you are planting water and and and this is really important. So this is the hard work that needs to be done so you have to look at how that can you capture water.
00:08:49.370 --> 00:09:19.960 Malan, Naude How does water flow once it's on the ground and flowing in your farm and you have to slow the flow of the water? It has to slow and flow as slow as possible, and it also has to crisscross your farm so that it takes as long as possible as a time and distance so that it flows for as far as possible on your phone. This is really really key, especially in the water stress stress country. So when you can slow down.
00:09:20.060 --> 00:09:52.060 Malan, Naude The flow of water on your farm, what will happen is you will be storing the water in the ground. This is different than the storage at your highest point. So what? What is actually happening is that your farm will be starting to mimic the water cycle. It'll flow down as slow as possible, but the way in which you have designed the systems to take the water back to the top would then mimic the water cycle and it would also fall in line or integrate with the water cycle so that you will actually.
00:09:52.190 --> 00:10:01.140 Malan, Naude Copy the flows of water in nature on your farm so that you slow the flow of water so that water is on your farm for as long as possible.
00:10:02.990 --> 00:10:33.920 Malan, Naude So what this also tells you is that you would have to actually move design also your own movement around the site in such a way that you you flow yourself like water so that you don't have to walk too far. Or when you when you do walk, it is the most efficient thing. You know if you have chickens on your farm, the chickens have to be near your house because you have to check every day for eggs. So therefore the way you design would have to incorporate that.
00:10:34.010 --> 00:10:58.550 Malan, Naude And now you can see how this would work. So your chicken coop would have a roof and that roof is a high point and it would catch water right there so that you can use water right there and you don't have to transport water to the chicken coop and you have water available there as you need it. So as you can see, there's a real question of design that has to take place and once again.
00:10:58.950 --> 00:11:06.520 Malan, Naude And our our means are very limited with this delivery. So I would really, really recommend to Google Permaculture design.
00:11:07.680 --> 00:11:33.990 Malan, Naude The University of Oregon and Washington are on the Internet on YouTube has a lot of permaculture videos that you can look at that are very well illustrated. That's actually something I've gotta do, but there you can actually see that that it makes a hell of a lot of sense and it is extremely productive. So I would recommend to really look at their culture as a basis. And of course your first system that you would design is your water system.
00:11:35.170 --> 00:11:37.800 Malan, Naude So I've goodness. Now I just wanna get.
00:11:39.180 --> 00:12:09.770 Malan, Naude Yeah. Yeah. So sorry. My, my, my, my, my screen didn't want to scroll the next system. We need to look at is the wise system. So the idea here is that your waste must be a byproduct or must be converted into a byproduct. And the waste system needs to process all waste on your farm. More enterprise. Some of the waste will be difficult to process, like really toxic stuff. And some of the stuff you can only discard, especially, you know, chips, wrappers and those kinds of things.
00:12:10.110 --> 00:12:41.800 Malan, Naude But but can you understand that the waste is not waste? Waste is a is a resource that you need to be focused on, so you'll waste system must be quite comprehensive and it should actually be able to process all the waste. So that means you will sort it on site immediately if you do use chemicals like soaps and things like that, you will immediately change your soaps to biologically compatible or biodegradable soaps because you would want to use the water in the.
00:12:41.960 --> 00:13:03.720 Malan, Naude Uh that you use to clean. You want to use that water again and if you get soap sub Sahara very high in phosphates and within 24 hours of of activating the soap with water you are actually you can actually give it back to the environment and it is. It can then be taken up by plants. So it's not it's like chemical fertilizer in a sense.
00:13:05.480 --> 00:13:34.660 Malan, Naude But the wife system is is quite key, you know. And and when we talk of something like, you know, recycling we we always think that you just recycle. But no, you actually need to understand that you can upcycle or down cycle and also the cycling needs to be enhanced. What does that mean? It means especially with waste that waste needs to be cycled as often as possible and multiple times. So let's take an example. Let's say you get in food.
00:13:35.310 --> 00:13:52.920 Malan, Naude Expired or old food or or end of life. Food. Let me put it that way from from somewhere. Immediately you will sort the food. Those that are still edible, you will still eat and and perhaps prepare for human food. Those that are still edible but not good for humans. You will maybe give to animals to eat.
00:13:53.820 --> 00:14:24.310 Malan, Naude And that that, that food which is really gone off, you could probably compost the compost can either just be put in the soil immediately and that that's fine, but you actually want to enhance that compost. So what you would do is you would give that compost to worms. So that process it a second time, then the casings, I would first process into a tea and then what is left that will go to the soil. But then the tea would be spread on the bed and then.
00:14:24.390 --> 00:14:48.600 Malan, Naude And it would enhance a bed because it might be a double big raised bed. So. So can you see that the waste must be used over and over over many times and processed by other biological organisms? Because when they process it, they enhance it it, you know, they transform the waste. So the question of waste is a question of.
00:14:49.290 --> 00:14:55.120 Malan, Naude Processing it and processing it until it is valuable as a input in your business.
00:14:56.630 --> 00:15:12.730 Malan, Naude You could also start an ancillary enterprise because recycling, uh, it could be one such thing, so you could just as you get biowaste you recycle it, you know, through the worms and all of that, you get your recycling and you can you can do things with that. You can sort it first of all.
00:15:14.350 --> 00:15:29.970 Malan, Naude And as you as you take in plastic recyclable waste from your community, you can also double up on food waste. Are you harvesting two things at the same time? And and this calls for the use of technology. So your your system is technology heavy in all cases.
00:15:30.660 --> 00:15:42.550 Malan, Naude So what you could do is, I mean there's precious plastics, which is a website that shows you how to manufacture the machines so you can repurpose recyclable plastic.
00:15:43.910 --> 00:16:13.820 Malan, Naude Some people are able to process plastics into fuels, diesels or esters and and kerosene and those kind of things, and that is possible. And also you could have other kinds of technology to drive food. So especially if you have end of life food and you chop it up into edible and non edible pieces, the edible pieces you could eat just like that but they are not as fresh as you want it to be. But if you dry them as a Dr dry to product.
00:16:14.180 --> 00:16:29.620 Malan, Naude Then they they quality immediately enhances and then you know there's a a link here on the on the, on the screen and the National Development Agency has a has a guide on how to build your own solar dryers and how to solar drive foods. So this is the key.
00:16:30.050 --> 00:16:38.450 Malan, Naude And sustainability is about transforming something that's not useful into something that's useful and that is the key thing.
00:16:39.830 --> 00:16:53.660 Malan, Naude How would you transform these things? How would it start? And it starts with a reciprocal relationship with your customers. You know, I've made a lot of it. A noise about farmers need to actually.
00:16:54.590 --> 00:17:24.670 Malan, Naude Am I a declared to the community that I can deliver food at lower than retail cost? You can only achieve that cost if you have a very strong system of harvesting waste from the Community because remember you also need to eat so you're you are yourself as a farmer you are also in competition with your own prices, so you need to lower the competition so you can lower the competition by harvesting waste from your community. Processing that as I explained and then putting it back into the soil.
00:17:24.790 --> 00:17:44.400 Malan, Naude And then selling that food back to the community and harvesting the waste from that again. So that circular relationship is what's gonna make you solvent but also sustainable. And if you are sustainable, you'll always be solvent. But if you are sustainable, you'll always have multiple benefits besides the money that you can make.
00:17:46.210 --> 00:18:09.360 Malan, Naude So let's look at the energy system now for this. It's complicated because there's a lot of cost and technology involved. However, let's start with the sun. We live in the southern hemisphere, so the sun, except high summer in high summer, the sun is right on top. But all other times during the year the Sun comes to us from the north.
00:18:10.070 --> 00:18:40.500 Malan, Naude So what you have to do, whether it's your farm, whether it's your house, whatever design your farm to face north, because when you face north, then you're gonna accept the most of the sun energy, it's gonna come to you. And this is gonna make a big difference to the way while especially how your plants plant grow. Don't plant the trees on the northern side. Plant the trees on the southern side so you can plant your crops in front of the the on the north side of the trees.
00:18:40.680 --> 00:18:48.450 Malan, Naude So the trees will still get the sun and your crops will get the sun and and and and they are because they are tall. The South doesn't affect them.
00:18:49.120 --> 00:19:10.350 Malan, Naude This is an absolutely critical design feature you have to face North because even if you save 1% of of of effort by facing north that 1%. Remember you can multiply and that 1% might be the profit that you earn right at the end of all the processes.
00:19:12.560 --> 00:19:42.330 Malan, Naude Also, when you think of energy, think of the energy in plants, animals and waste. This is really, really important. So if you make compost with leaves, there is still a lot of energy in those leaves, even if they're brown leaves. And as they, as they decompose, that energy is released and gets captured in the compost, and the compost can then give that energy back. So your energy cycle is a very deep, deep cycle that has to do with all the all the materials.
00:19:42.420 --> 00:19:43.590 Malan, Naude That on your on your phone.
00:19:44.440 --> 00:20:15.070 Malan, Naude And of course, uh wood for fires. I mean, we all firewood replenishes itself very, very quickly. It's a it's it's a great storage. It is not as environmentally damaging as as electricity and and and and kerosene and paraffin and wood is a great resource. So once again, if you plant your trees in the right place, they'll grow faster and then you can use that word you can harvest from the trees. The wood can also be used for building and all those things. And so therefore you save energy.
00:20:15.220 --> 00:20:21.050 Malan, Naude Your whole your energy system is at the whole system, so you saving energy in collecting wood et cetera, et cetera.
00:20:22.070 --> 00:20:39.560 Malan, Naude Also think of your compass as a form of energy storage and also you know in a sense if you are storing water with permaculture design and contouring and swells, then you are also storing the water in the soil. That saves you the energy to transport water later on.
00:20:41.870 --> 00:20:47.810 Malan, Naude You can also approach your energy system from technology side and and that's quite important.
00:20:49.120 --> 00:21:21.040 Malan, Naude Because technology, you know it's it's high, high capital cost etcetera. But then when when you when you say you invest in solar panels, now you are actually getting to a point where the renewable energy for very high value applications could pay itself off. So when you invest for that kind of a thing, you actually have to enable the the the costs of that renewable energy system to be recuperated in the additional productivity that it might be possible.
00:21:21.590 --> 00:21:31.130 Malan, Naude So therefore, when you are designing a high tech technology system, what you would also have to do is to work out the financial implications of that.
00:21:32.780 --> 00:21:40.970 Malan, Naude The other thing that we need to think about and and this will reoccur in the discussion of technology, but this is what is important with energy.
00:21:42.010 --> 00:22:10.880 Malan, Naude Energy is everything. So you can save energy by converging technologies. The one technology you could use is just facing north, so therefore the sun goes into your house, so you don't use the heater so much, so that would affect your renewable electricity supply because you're facing north and you warmer, you'll use less of that. So you can buy a smaller system. You know, this could also link to the water flows and if the water flows.
00:22:11.960 --> 00:22:36.590 Malan, Naude And with normal flows, then you don't need a pump. So then the water is available and all of this can be realized. If you can design it as a as a water tight system where everything interacts, and that is the key. It is about design. I have to apologize to our viewers or listeners as we would like to also illustrate these insights in a.
00:22:37.140 --> 00:22:46.080 Malan, Naude A practical way and I think I think in the next phase, we really would like to have a demonstration center where we can show these things and it would make it much better.
00:22:48.090 --> 00:22:54.230 Malan, Naude But this convergence of technology really allows us to see how the soil is also a system.
00:22:54.920 --> 00:23:23.230 Malan, Naude So the soil is a Nexus, cause the the soil which creates food is a is a mix of the of of the waste which was there water, energy and the minerals it's and et cetera that that, that, that that lived here before you know the soil is the mother goddess of us all and and and that's to dust you know it is really really goodness there are people in the lobby now there isn't OK sorry I'm just.
00:23:24.740 --> 00:23:54.830 Malan, Naude Where am I now? Yeah, I have to just check if these things. Uh, sorry. So. So. So the way in which the soil works, the soil integrates these things and the the the biology of the soil integrates them and actually creates converged technologies. So think about what benefits you could have if you have very good very well constructed rice beds that you have your thick trunks at the bottom bones at the bottom and lots of biomass in the bed.
00:23:55.300 --> 00:24:25.360 Malan, Naude The water flows on your farm would would run along the raised beds, cause you would build your beds along the control line. So as it as the water flows, it immediately sinks right down there into the roots in the raised bed. So now your own energy use is minimized because you don't have to water anymore and the raised bed means you don't have to bend so much. So the energy use is enhanced by the design of the raised beds and that increases your productivity. And then.
00:24:26.380 --> 00:24:42.230 Malan, Naude The the the what? What happens is then the waste that fall out of the system which which makes it less productive. If you can integrate those weights back into the next raised bed where you put the waste in that raised bed, now you have an integrated design.
00:24:42.930 --> 00:25:13.730 Malan, Naude And this is the key is to to be able to see how no waste will take place on your farm and then the flows are things will all flow into increased productivity processes and that is the key to a successful farm. Because what you then do is you are designing your labor as much less than it normally would be. And that is your savings. You know the way to make money is not to make money, but the way to make money is to save money.
00:25:14.170 --> 00:25:24.740 Malan, Naude Like save a million Rand by saving 1 Rand a million times and that is the the attitude you should have in the way you design your systems.
00:25:26.930 --> 00:25:32.010 Malan, Naude So now for the last one that I want to just emphasize in this.
00:25:32.090 --> 00:25:34.920 Malan, Naude Yeah, if it's did the the delivery is.
00:25:36.050 --> 00:26:08.580 Malan, Naude To think of interactions as institutions, and I'm and I'm mentioning this because of the politically unfavorable position urban farmers occupy. Urban farmers often don't own the land, so they, you know, they they are on borrowed land. They're often precarious situation. They don't have the often the, the the best knowledge around agriculture that don't they don't fit in the normal retail system. So actually what what is necessary is that the urban farmers shouldn't change. The urban farmers should actually change society.
00:26:08.680 --> 00:26:15.550 Malan, Naude So they sit in society, and to do that, farmers must be able to influence broader political processes.
00:26:16.680 --> 00:26:45.790 Malan, Naude So. So the key here is not to just take from the state, because the state is all powerful actor and we know that they can very, very easily undermine especially the informal sector. So what you need to do is to build the reciprocal relationship with your political authorities so that you can give and receive from them and that then creates an interaction with them. So you can then at the key moment influence in policy.
00:26:46.290 --> 00:26:51.450 Malan, Naude And this is really important because the world is searching for solutions.
00:26:52.170 --> 00:26:59.090 Malan, Naude I'm in integrating urban farmers in the uh settlement design, and if we can do that.
00:27:00.420 --> 00:27:12.100 Malan, Naude You know, then food will be cheaper because it's grown closer with people are, but it's not necessarily that some clever architect or town planner must design the system like that. No, it is actually better.
00:27:13.440 --> 00:27:14.490 Malan, Naude My goodness, where am I?
00:27:15.720 --> 00:27:48.530 Malan, Naude It is actually better if if we if we can, if we can influence politically the choices made so that farmers themselves make those changes and not a designer does it in an office. So that's really, really important at why I'm emphasizing institutions as part of the circular design of the enterprise or so your custom interaction is a system, you know, it's building on your waste harvesting as you harvest waste from them. You are understanding what do they need and you're actually designing your product for them.
00:27:49.010 --> 00:27:54.990 Malan, Naude So interaction is A is a system is a institution. It is the institution to create your product.
00:27:56.880 --> 00:28:27.340 Malan, Naude Also, when you do these interactions, you are really recreating the social contract. You know how do you interact with your community and how do they influence you? This circular relationship is gonna be key in how you maintain your enterprise and these relationships can then be maintained through social media, Internet, WhatsApp and also communication and also science and and and opportunities that you create on in your phone. You know, for people to sit and mingle, enjoy the landscape.
00:28:27.490 --> 00:28:54.310 Malan, Naude Yeah. Enjoy the flowers. Those kind of things. That is really, really part of what you are doing and actually what you need to do is you have to maintain them. So how do you sell or you just selling it for money, but as you sell every time you sell is an opportunity to interact with our customer. And that is that interaction will release the information that you need to know what to do to satisfy your customers needs into the future.
00:28:55.710 --> 00:29:04.160 Malan, Naude Thank you very much guys. I hope that has helped and and I'm fully aware that this might be you know just a wee bit.
00:29:04.280 --> 00:29:04.810 Malan, Naude And.
00:29:06.050 --> 00:29:12.100 Malan, Naude I abstract, but that's unfortunately you can hardly see myself on the screen.
00:29:13.480 --> 00:29:34.400 Malan, Naude So you can just see a little bit of me, but it's quite abstract, but please allow me to now give the flow to Juanita and Juanita will, will, will, will, will give us a few concrete examples of what people can do to realize these sustainable systems in their enterprises. Thank you, Anita. It's over to you.
00:29:37.330 --> 00:29:38.530 Van der Walt, Juanita Thank you, doctor Malan.
00:29:39.710 --> 00:29:42.280 Van der Walt, Juanita Just please confirm that you can see the slides.
00:29:42.720 --> 00:29:45.610 Malan, Naude Yes, I can see the slides. You just wanna go do slide show?
00:29:46.880 --> 00:29:47.310 Van der Walt, Juanita Right.
00:29:48.440 --> 00:30:07.540 Van der Walt, Juanita The first thing that I would like to discuss is comparing your traditional supply chain with your short food supply chain. Because you're short food supply, chain is gonna evidently lead you to become more successful because you've produced would be supplied to your customers.
00:30:08.430 --> 00:30:10.550 Van der Walt, Juanita And the faster, more efficient way.
00:30:12.200 --> 00:30:22.750 Van der Walt, Juanita So if you look at the food system, your local food system includes food production, microprocessing distribution, retailing, consumption and waste disposal.
00:30:23.410 --> 00:30:28.860 Van der Walt, Juanita And this is done to improve the local environment, economy and your social well being.
00:30:33.400 --> 00:30:34.580 Van der Walt, Juanita The role that the.
00:30:35.440 --> 00:30:55.770 Van der Walt, Juanita Traditional supply chain played is mostly done or seen from the mall commercial site where you have your big farms and your manufacturing plant or packaging it gets distributed. You arrange for transportation to the market, to the consumer.
00:30:56.600 --> 00:31:07.850 Van der Walt, Juanita However, with the alternative or local Food Network, your customers are involved with the demand of high.
00:31:08.150 --> 00:31:09.810 Van der Walt, Juanita Umm alphy.
00:31:10.440 --> 00:31:25.900 Van der Walt, Juanita Higher quality foods and this is what they want and you want to provide it to them in the fastest possible way and this is done through making use of what is available around you.
00:31:27.540 --> 00:31:29.890 Van der Walt, Juanita Umm. In your supply chain?
00:31:31.300 --> 00:31:33.470 Van der Walt, Juanita Four your urban farmers.
00:31:34.200 --> 00:31:37.950 Van der Walt, Juanita You will eliminate quite a few of your intermediaries.
00:31:38.720 --> 00:31:47.370 Van der Walt, Juanita You will still make use of packaging. You will still have your form. You will still have your transportation and you will still have your consumers.
00:31:48.310 --> 00:32:01.240 Van der Walt, Juanita So when we look at packaging, packaging plays a huge role, not only in protecting the product, but it also provides a great first impression of what you are providing to your consumer.
00:32:02.010 --> 00:32:06.340 Van der Walt, Juanita It makes you stand out. The packaging will speak for you.
00:32:08.310 --> 00:32:27.120 Van der Walt, Juanita You can also consider things like going green, as you can see on the picture where you have a cosmetics company that incorporated seats into the packaging, and when you are done with the packaging you plant it. That would make all that would really make you stand out from the rest.
00:32:28.380 --> 00:32:31.560 Van der Walt, Juanita Umm. If you look at transportation services.
00:32:32.920 --> 00:32:44.510 Van der Walt, Juanita There's quite a few people around your community that might have buckies and they will be able to start a transportation service for you.
00:32:45.530 --> 00:33:03.270 Van der Walt, Juanita Umm, the example that I've given you here is coming from the Facebook page, so it also gives you an opportunity to start a new business and incorporate it into your business as an urban farmer, you can also provide transportation then to your other colleagues.
00:33:05.560 --> 00:33:07.990 Van der Walt, Juanita If you look at the retail opportunities.
00:33:09.000 --> 00:33:19.010 Van der Walt, Juanita Pecan pie, for example, has supported farmers, especially the small farmers, by providing them with opportunities to do business with them.
00:33:21.680 --> 00:33:22.350 Van der Walt, Juanita Right.
00:33:25.340 --> 00:33:41.400 Van der Walt, Juanita So why is it so important to have a short food supply chain? Number one? It eliminates unnecessary intermediary research. It ables you to get your produce to your consumer faster, and this can be done through farmers markets.
00:33:42.090 --> 00:33:52.040 Van der Walt, Juanita Uh form shops collective former shops, community supported agriculture and solidarity purchase groups. Now if we look at the farmers market.
00:33:52.910 --> 00:34:09.210 Van der Walt, Juanita You are actually directly more directly marketing your products to your consumer and it would be then easier for them to identify you and to learn about your products that you provide to them and they can actually tell you.
00:34:09.960 --> 00:34:11.490 Van der Walt, Juanita The needs that they have.
00:34:12.380 --> 00:34:21.730 Van der Walt, Juanita But what happens in the case where you don't have a farmers market? You can always start one and that would provide you with an opportunity.
00:34:22.640 --> 00:34:27.300 Van der Walt, Juanita To not only sell your produce, but also to.
00:34:28.810 --> 00:34:44.440 Van der Walt, Juanita To make additional income through a farmers market now the example that I'm giving you here is a farmers market that was started in South Africa and they give you some tips on how to go about it.
00:34:45.930 --> 00:35:02.280 Van der Walt, Juanita Certain questions that you need to ask before you consider starting your own farmers market is your health and safety requirements. If there's any local municipal bylaws and what requirements do you need to comply with?
00:35:03.390 --> 00:35:05.900 Van der Walt, Juanita As you as the founder.
00:35:06.910 --> 00:35:12.650 Van der Walt, Juanita And manager of your farmers market, you would be able to not Only Connect yourself.
00:35:13.500 --> 00:35:36.630 Van der Walt, Juanita But also other farmers and producers that locally grow fruit and non food products to your community and you will then generate money from renting your stalls, getting your vendors and you can establish a customer base if it is easily a sick, accessible to your consumers.
00:35:39.450 --> 00:35:48.070 Van der Walt, Juanita In the case where there is a farmers market and you do not know what other opportunities is available to you.
00:35:49.330 --> 00:35:52.010 Van der Walt, Juanita There's about 50 different types of.
00:35:53.240 --> 00:36:06.160 Van der Walt, Juanita Businesses that you can create around an urban farm, such as pet food production, where you can use your your waste, you can make it into pellets.
00:36:07.280 --> 00:36:22.610 Van der Walt, Juanita You have your farm setting where you can assist other farmers if they need to go away, and you can run the urban farm full thing. You can start a petting zoo if you have. Ohh sorry about that. If you have a big enough.
00:36:23.550 --> 00:36:49.480 Van der Walt, Juanita But righty of animals and for that you can actually make your urban form available to schools to come and view and touch the animals, and that gives the kids an opportunity to experience a form in the urban area. You can also do educational forming where you can give people with the same interest or students to learn a more about what you are doing on your urban form.
00:36:50.600 --> 00:36:55.550 Van der Walt, Juanita Uh one of Doctor Malan's colleagues? Uh, Tim Alba does that.
00:36:56.220 --> 00:37:10.010 Van der Walt, Juanita And you can also do agrotourism where you have your urban farm and you invite people to come and visit, or they can actually stay over to experience what it is like to run urban form.
00:37:14.090 --> 00:37:20.810 Van der Walt, Juanita When you incorporate technology into your urban form, it can either open new opportunities to you.
00:37:21.600 --> 00:37:24.630 Van der Walt, Juanita Or it can introduce you to new practices.
00:37:27.560 --> 00:37:31.630 Van der Walt, Juanita So for example, in South Africa these various.
00:37:33.140 --> 00:37:51.600 Van der Walt, Juanita Organizations that provide you with assistance to farming, such as aerobotics, that is more for your bigger forms Agricole where they connect small scale farmers with investors.
00:37:52.800 --> 00:38:04.950 Van der Walt, Juanita Audrey into it gives you Auger chemical database that is more for your commercial farmers. Agri LED so it actually gives you a.
00:38:06.430 --> 00:38:10.400 Van der Walt, Juanita At pitch in contact with the organization that provides containers.
00:38:11.680 --> 00:38:14.200 Van der Walt, Juanita To support hydroponics.
00:38:15.470 --> 00:38:24.990 Van der Walt, Juanita Uh culturafresh. That is a hydroponic vegetable supplier you have itsy. That's a GPS tracking technology for livestock.
00:38:25.650 --> 00:38:49.940 Van der Walt, Juanita Green fingers mobile that actually assists smallholder farmers in managing and financing their business. Online fruits and vegetable business to business market price and the handler choice. There's the cooler app that Doctor Malan also had contact with Manobi that is specifically in the Limpopo province for the small scale farmers.
00:38:50.600 --> 00:38:52.390 Van der Walt, Juanita That might use of technology.
00:38:54.270 --> 00:39:00.340 Van der Walt, Juanita To have a more sustainable and practical product value chain. So stress.
00:39:01.660 --> 00:39:20.350 Van der Walt, Juanita Is the visibility into the agriculture and food value chains from farm to retail and swift, vee online livestock trading platform. So all making use of the technology can either provide you with a new market or alternative way to do your farming practices.
00:39:22.710 --> 00:39:26.150 Van der Walt, Juanita Just for interest sake, I just added in the.
00:39:26.910 --> 00:39:27.750 Van der Walt, Juanita And.
00:39:28.830 --> 00:39:29.990 Van der Walt, Juanita Innovation.
00:39:31.000 --> 00:39:35.350 Van der Walt, Juanita That they are practicing in Singapore for building a more.
00:39:36.180 --> 00:40:04.600 Van der Walt, Juanita And sustainable urban farms in the environment because they do not have as many farmland as the rest of the world, because it's mostly important export. So their plan now is to make use of all open space to become a urban farms and provide with the the people they with fresh fruit and vegetables every day.
00:40:05.560 --> 00:40:06.610 Van der Walt, Juanita Thank you, doctor Malan.
00:40:08.830 --> 00:40:09.860 Malan, Naude I thank you, Anita.
00:40:11.150 --> 00:40:40.500 Malan, Naude And that's that's really great. And if I may make a few comments in the dark, yeah, you know those technologies that the second last slide with those website links, you know those are the the the sub or the the processes that you need to integrate in your subsystems. So some of those like the trace tracing or the cooler app or something like that, you know those are not real environmental things. These are like computer resources.
00:40:41.200 --> 00:41:10.750 Malan, Naude But if you can, if you can link those into your into your enterprise in some meaningful way, then you have incorporated, you know, an outside system into your inside system, and that outside system will bring value to your farm. And if you can link to the traceability site, I mean, many people sell immediately locally, so these things will be very irrelevant. And for some farmers, especially urban farmers who sell to their neighbors but.
00:41:11.240 --> 00:41:42.950 Malan, Naude If you have any kind of product that you sell, you know far away and you can connect it to those resources, then you have enhanced your product dramatically and and and that is what we would be necessary for urban farmers to scale up from local serving the local area to actually starting to serve maybe the the regional or the the city area and and and if you go to the city or higher, then you need to have this, this traceability, this information on how your food is produced to actually develop or might offer a really good product.
00:41:43.760 --> 00:42:12.390 Malan, Naude But but thank you very much, Juanita for that. I I think it's really important and I think the idea of short supply chains is really the the real reason that urban farmers should take this seriously, because that is the only way they will be able to make money because, you know, farmers lose money in the long supply chain. So urban farmers make money by eliminating those long supply chains. That takes the money away. So I would really, really.
00:42:13.070 --> 00:42:18.240 Malan, Naude I encourage farmers to think about that idea of short supply chain farming.
00:42:19.520 --> 00:42:29.970 Malan, Naude Umm is there please, ladies and gentlemen, please put up your hand. Or even even if you want to, you can give us a question in the chat. If there's anything you wanna know, we will be posting.
00:42:31.590 --> 00:42:42.320 Malan, Naude Well, you can. You can get this recording on Facebook, but we will also be posting on the blog or the presentations with all the links in there. Thank you so much. But please ladies and gentlemen, the floor is open.
00:42:45.740 --> 00:42:48.290 Malan, Naude Uh, we have a hand by Juanita. Please go ahead.
00:42:49.420 --> 00:42:53.330 Van der Walt, Juanita I think one of the most important things that urban farmers need to realize is.
00:42:54.300 --> 00:43:07.750 Van der Walt, Juanita The person that gets the the product to the consumer the fastest and the best quality and quantity that they require is the ones that's doing the sale. So most of the times if you look at your retail store.
00:43:09.000 --> 00:43:11.740 Van der Walt, Juanita You do font the produce, but it's not good quality.
00:43:12.390 --> 00:43:16.500 Van der Walt, Juanita So urban farmers actually have an opportunity to to build a network.
00:43:17.290 --> 00:43:34.870 Van der Walt, Juanita Identify consumers, make it available, whether it is consumers picking it up at the urban farm or at farmers markets that they have an opportunity to to to build a good network with their consumers.
00:43:35.840 --> 00:43:37.080 Van der Walt, Juanita And also.
00:43:38.020 --> 00:43:42.110 Van der Walt, Juanita There's so many opportunities within urban farming, as I said.
00:43:43.340 --> 00:43:50.890 Van der Walt, Juanita If I from all the searches that I've done within urban farming, there's 50 opportunities excluding.
00:43:51.660 --> 00:43:57.490 Van der Walt, Juanita Planting of produce. So urban farming's urban farmers must identify.
00:43:58.670 --> 00:44:06.220 Van der Walt, Juanita What vice products they have and what other business they can do with that waste product?
00:44:07.430 --> 00:44:14.570 Van der Walt, Juanita That might also give them an opportunity to build a bigger client base with a variety of of products.