Our Covid-19 Response

Mitigating food insecurity for rural communities

The Covid-19 Lockdown in South Africa is anticipated to have a long-term impact on poor people’s food availability, access to food, food stability, on the informal food economy and ultimately on community and household health. Outside of the pandemic, many South Africans go hungry and many only have access to food that is nutritionally poor. This is especially so for rural communities whose access to food will be further exacerbated by decreases in remittances from migrant workers, an influx of people back to rural areas as job losses take effect, instability in informal food supply chain, increasing food prices and reduced access to support services. The lockdown is particularly hard felt by smallholder farmers who have limited access to inputs, transportation, finance and extension services at the best of times.

In response, Siyazisiza has rolled out a programme (Food In The Ground) in an attempt to mitigate the anticipated negative short and medium-term impacts (of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown) on food security and livelihoods for smallholder farmers and their immediate communities; and to begin putting in place some of the building blocks for long-term recovery by putting in place protocols and auxiliary resources to guide safe farming and food production activities.

the "food in the ground" programme:

Establishing & Enabling
A Safe Working Environment

  • Establishing supply lines, and central and local control and distribution points for the distribution of supplies and input to small-holder farmers and communities.
  • Establishing the means for farmers to continue to work on food production in a COVID19 aligned and safer environment.

Distribution of Inputs & Supplies

  • The distribution of seeds, seedlings and inputs to both bolster food and nutritional security and to support and supplement supply chain production into informal and formal markets. 
  • Aggregation and distribution of COVID19 related PPE, hygiene products and medical supplies to farmers and targeted communities.

Remote-based support, Information Dissemination & Health and Safety Awareness

  • Ongoing remote-based and low-contact agricultural support to farmers.
  • Development and dissemination of information on safety, health and nutrition with primary focus on enhancing food security.
  • Monitoring of situational impacts on community health, production, crop health, and support networks.
  • This will involve the coordination and building of networks, resources and systems to develop an integrated communication strategy and effective communication platform.

Upscaling Supply Chain Systems &
Food Safety Standards

  • Upgraded protocols and standards for food handling, packing and distribution.
  • Focus on both formal and informal markets.
  • Enhancing and increasing current community-farmer supply into Boxer Superstore chain and opening up or improving supply into other potential markets.

Building improved local capacity &
Availability in local food supply

  • Enhancing storage and distribution capacity of aggregation and control points for agri-inputs and fresh produce.
  • Upgrading current community nursery production capacities including increased focus on seed production, harvesting, storage and local and centralised seed banks.
  • Enhancing local market standards, systems and capacity to improve informal supply chains.
  • Design and use of appropriate technology to enhance remote-based advisory support and services.