Updated: Sep 21
Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and Ald. James Vos were joined by representatives from various departments and government agencies to celebrate the launch of the Philippi Agrihub yesterday. The Agrihub, which was developed through a collaboration between National Treasury, the City of Cape Town and the Philippi Economic Development Initiative (PEDI), is designed to provide a hub for small scale and emerging farmers to develop, support and grow their businesses, while also connecting them with fresh produce buyers.
Speaking at the launch, Mayor Hill-Lewis highlighted the importance of urban green space, and how the Philippi Agrihub can help alleviate poverty, support job creation, and contribute to food security and resilience in the face of climate change. He said, “The Philippi Agrihub is a shining example of how urban green space can be put to use in helping to alleviate poverty through jobs, and contributing to food security and resilience in the face of climate change.”
The Agrihub offers a variety of vegetables, herbs and indigenous produce supplied by over a hundred small scale farmers who are trained to cultivate vegetables through natural farming methods. The farmers benefit from access to a wider market and better prices that help ensure their sustainability, while consumers and the food service sector have access to ready-to-cook vegetables.
Thomas Swana, CEO of PEDI, spoke to the history of the market and its development over the past four years. He announced that the Agrihub will start to supply retail giant Shoprite with fresh produce, and emphasized the importance of having a dedicated hub to promote fresh produce marketing and sales. Daryl Jacobs, DDG of the WC Department of Agriculture, committed his department’s support to the venture, while Mary-Ann Parr of U Can Grow Africa reported on progress in creating a database of over 1000 small scale farmers within a 150km radius of Philippi.
The launch was attended by formal and informal business owners, Ward Councillors for Subcouncil 12, 13 and 17, and members of the Ward Development Forum in Philippi, who have all contributed to the establishment and opening of the Agrihub that will benefit the Philippi economy.
The Philippi Agrihub represents a unique opportunity for the growing community of small scale and emerging farmers to access a wider market and better prices, while also contributing to the sustainable agriculture and food security of Cape Town.