The Kidlinks Small Farm Incubator (“KSFI”) was founded in early 2020 out of the need to address issues of unemployment, food insecurity and limited onsite educational training in agriculture in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. We believe that this new model has scaleable potential for the whole country.
The KSFI model proposes to capitalize on the exciting opportunities in small-scale agriculture and online agricultural education and training.
KSFI co-founders—Liza Lightfoot, Mpumelelo Ncwadi and Asanda Apleni—conducted both primary and secondary market research into the profitable small-scale regenerative organic farming; a “learning by doing” based education and training model; and the availability of specialized tools and selected commercial grade organic seed for market gardeners in South Africa. They identified a significantly underserved need.
This model presents the following opportunities for rural communities:
- Entrepreneurial training and job creation
- Food security
- Improved health outcomes
KSFI’s 23 hectare demonstration farm will share efficient systems of small-scale farming, shared resources such as tools, equipment, harvesting and packing infrastructure. Coaching in sales, marketing, and financial management with access to shared office support. With the focus on agriculture education and training KSFI will be uniquely positioned to serve this need because we are targeting freshly produced high value crops produced utilizing regenerative organic methods; currently underserved young farmers with small-scale farmland; and the sales of good quality hand tools and non-GMO organic seed.
KSFI will train up to 20 young farmers at a time. They will have access to land, tools, resources, and education. After completing the training program, these farmers will have the opportunity to start small businesses, with continued support from KSFI through land access and advice.
KSFI estimates that this underserved need of the market will generate cumulative sales of R1,415 million during the first three years of operation. KSFI could capture a significant percentage of this segment of the market by the fifth year of operation.
Goals of Project
The promotion of agroecological farming methods for young emerging farmers to boost employment, enhance food security and to combat climate change. Students are to evaluate and report on different teaching methods utilized in training future farmers.
Kidlinks Small Farm Incubator (KSFI) is a hands-on regenerative training farm for young emerging farmers in the Eastern Cape province. In partnership with The LAND Project, KSFI trains emerging farmers in agroecological farming practices that encompasses animal husbandry, managed grazing, vegetable production and orchard management.