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The Agricultural Sustainable Community Investment Programme (Agri-SCIP) supports rural smallholders in Southern KZN.

Sustainable production techniques are used by individual farmers in two areas of the Ugu DM (Hibiscus Coast and Mdoni) to grow vegetables and fruit and sell to their local cooperatives through a PGS (Participatory Guarantee System) under the Kumnandi brand, providing a guaranteed, but not exclusive, market for their goods, mostly in urban areas.

Training (M1 and M3) and mentoring (Agri-mentors) in organic farming methods is provided, followed by linkages to the local cooperatives (2) and support and supervision for the Farmers Associations (10). Limited infrastructural support is also provided to farmers to develop their micro-enterprises.

The cooperatives establish village based collection points (18 for HCM, 3 for Mdoni) within walking distance of the farms, farmers deliver weekly and are paid cash and the cooperatives sell on the vegetables to clients; they do market research and coordination of the lists of required products, monthly price benchmarking to set purchase and sales prices and communication of prices and products to members. Cooperatives employ staff and manage the vehicles for collection and delivery. They are supported by SDC in market linkages and analysis of produce data as well as with cash flow management and support.

Community field workers (CFW, 21) are elected members of Farmers’ Associations (FA) who assist at collection points and represent the community on the cooperative board along with FA representatives. They are responsible for quality control choices and receive training and mentoring support from cooperative staff and SDC.They receive a monthly stipend.

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