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iZindaba Zokudla 2024 Creating viable urban agricultural enterprises

Updated: Mar 3

Dear All

I have set out a programme for 2024 and please allow me to update this.

We will be meeting in Enoch Sontonga B3 on UJ’s Soweto Campus from 9 am until 1pm on the 9th of March. Please bring an ID Document or Passport or Birth Certificate to gain access to the campus.

9 March Opening. In this event I will be presenting the overall vision and indicating what it is we will be doing this year. This is a vision for urban agriculture enterprise development. Urban agriculture needs to maximize the revenue from sales and this can be done by lowering input costs and by selling at the highest possible retail price. We will set out a vision of what this entails for an urban farmer and how this enterprise would look like.


6 April In this event, I will be presenting and analysing the market opportunity for urban agriculture. We will further contemplate the Unique Value Proposition that is possible for urban agriculture. I have developed the recommendations in the book as flowing from this UVP as follows:


The creation of a price reduction mechanism for urban agricultural produce through the local recycling and repurposing of waste.


In this event, we will be conducting the analysis of the market opportunity ourselves, and we will be discussing and adapting this UVP for individual farmers. In this event we will be able to identify what it is that an urban farmer can do to sell at the highest retail price and lower input costs to almost Zero. This is the enterprise model that the peculiar act of growing and selling food in urban areas demands. We will be exploring how to set up such an urban farming enterprise.

4 May This event, and the next one will workshop the “Essential Technologies for Urban Agriculture” and elaborating on each of these. The essential technologies have been workshopped at iZindaba Zokudla before, and here we will not only workshop[ them, but also identify how these technologies can be sequenced and stacked on top of each other.  

22 June “The Essential Technologies for Urban Agriculture” No. 2. We will continue discussing these technologies. An urban farmer needs to maximise the investment in such technologies and techniques. Effort on a deep trench bed is a better return on investment than merely watering plants, and we will continue the workshop on how we can select the right technologies and systems for intensive urban agricultural production.


20 July The key in achieving profitability lies not in production and technology, but rather in sales and the profit profile of these sales. To achieve such a positive profit profile, attention needs to be paid to sales and prices, their integration with inputs and also the enhancement of sales. In this event, we will be looking at how to realise and implement a waste harvesting system and integrate it with your production. To do this, you would need to develop and implement technology, engage and form a partnership with a reclaimer, and build circular systems for the use of the material in production and sales. Hence in this event, we will be discussing Product and Service Design for Urban Agriculture. The way an urban farmer designs these systems is key to their viability.

3 August Once you have designed your products and integrated them with your input system, you need to develop a system to sell to customers. In this event we will be looking at the following:


·       The setting of prices for your produce.


·       The integration of pricing with waste harvesting.


·       The integration of engagement processes with enterprise development.


·       The integration of linear sales, like bulk sales and convenience sales, with the sale of urban produce.


After this event, you should know how to set prices and how to make your produce attractive for urban customers.


14 September In this event, we will be looking at the process of registration and how to make your business compliant. You could be compliant with standards like food safety even though you are not registered, and in this event we will take a comprehensive look at how you should plan the registration and compliance of your business. This event is also worthwhile for all other entrepreneurs, and it would benefit them as well to participate. This event will clarify why it is important to register a business, and we will emphasise the political advantages of doing so. This may be necessary to get the requisite support from policy makers and politicians to protect and secure urban agricultural production.


Weeks before and following 19 October Please note that I will need to confirm this venue and time. In this event we will contemplate Business Plans and have a re-cap of the course so far. We will discuss business plans as many by this time would have become familiar with enterprise development, and the next steps would be to completely formalise the business and seek out bigger markets and stakeholders. We will discuss how to proceed on this path of enterprise development. We will be workshopping how to write a business plan for urban agriculture.

16 November This may be the last event for the year, and we will use this day to plan for 2025 and adapt and innovate on the curriculum. We will plan for 2025 and create a schedule for the next year.

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