In a remarkable collaboration between Afriponics and the Philippi Agrihub, a budding partnership is driving change and fostering the growth of young entrepreneurs in Cape Town. The story of the Roots program, which began its journey in November 2022, is a tale of transformation, hope, and empowerment.
Cultivating Young Talent
The Roots project is an association of a number of different parties, including Afriponics as the implementation company, FirstRand Empowerment Foundation, who supported the project financially, Harambee and SAYouth.mobi, the implementation partners, and the Western Cape branch of the South African Council of Churches. Other partners include the Community Advice Offices of South Africa, DMRNO (disability rights organization) and The AgriWise Institute (the AgriSeta Training partner of Afriponics).
The aim of the project is to showcase underserved agricultural opportunities, then train and support young people to become entrepreneurs within their chosen field.
The Role of Philippi Agrihub
Amidst this transformative journey, the Philippi Agrihub has emerged as a vital training ground for students who seek to specialize in Market Gardening and intensive production from small spaces. Students are afforded the rare opportunity to transform underutilized land, learning from the ground up. The program deviates from conventional training centers where operational spaces are already established, instead providing a real-world experience of preparing the ground for young entrepreneurs.
Empowering Women and People with Disabilities
The Philippi Agrihub has been instrumental in empowering young women, with 90% of the businesses on site being run by them. Additionally, the program has opened doors to people with disabilities, with approximately 20 participants who have found opportunities and support at the Agrihub.
Nurturing the Future
The collaboration between Afriponics and the Philippi Agrihub extends beyond financial arrangements. The young entrepreneurs actively participate in site maintenance, working together in a weekly work-party to ensure the grounds remain in good condition. The commitment to sustaining and enhancing the space exemplifies their dedication to creating lasting positive change.
Building Cape Town's Future Leaders
The Roots program and the Philippi Agrihub have already proven successful, nurturing over 50 young entrepreneurs who have ventured into various fields such as Market Gardening, Hydroponics, Afriponics, Mushroom and Micro Greens cultivation, and Fast foods. Their journey is not only a testament to their dedication but also to the power of partnerships that empower youth, especially women and people with disabilities, to create their path in the world of agriculture.
A Promising Journey Ahead
The partnership between Afriponics and Philippi Agrihub has already transformed the lives of young entrepreneurs in Cape Town. As the program continues to evolve, it promises to empower even more individuals to chase their dreams and make a lasting impact on the agricultural sector.