The country is already experiencing some of these weather extremes and KwaZulu-Natal is particularly hard-hit. Clearly, water, or the lack thereof, is a major impact of climate change and variability will be increasingly experienced. Many of the Trust’s micro-farms were established during wetter times and have not adapted their agricultural methods in response to this change in climate. As a result, yields are at an all-time low and it is imperative that alternate strategies and equipment be introduced which will increase the resilience of these farms. Currently 30% of the Trust’s micro-farms are standing dormant or have a reduced areas of cultivation.

The Trust played a pivotal role in bringing the drought in northern KwaZulu-Natal to the attention of the news media, relevant government departments and the NSPCA, to both provide drinking water to the people and to euthanize dying cattle in the areas in which we work. Numerous protests by communities interrupted field staff’s ability to carry out their duties notwithstanding that 30% of our community vegetable gardens are dormant.

In developing our Agricultural Strategy going forward, sustainability and resilience of community gardens is a priority which we intend will result in increasing sustainable agricultural production of a more diverse range of produce, improving levels of regional food security and increasing levels of independence of community gardens.

Notwithstanding the effects of the drought, implementation of the new model continued. Particular activities included: registration of producer groups which have reached Level 1 as primary co-

operatives; provision of equipment; training (establishing, registering and managing a co-operative, all aspects of agricultural production, market linkage, nutrition, environmental awareness, etc.) and mentoring.

LEVEL 1: These projects have demonstrated their readiness in terms of our new model.

LEVEL 2: These projects will continue to receive support and mentoring from the Trust until they can achieve Level 1 status.

LEVEL 3: These groups have been identified as food security projects only. There is very minimal chance that they can develop into Level 1 or 2 projects due to a number of factors. This grading, however, does not limit any project in this category from improving and being rated at a higher level in future.

It is important to note that we will continue to mentor and assist food security-only projects.