Izindaba Zokudla (Conversations about Food)

Izindaba Zokudla (Conversations about Food) – Innovation in the Soweto Food System is a multi-stakeholder engagement project that aims to create opportunities for urban agriculture in a sustainable food system in Soweto. The project is part of the Design Society Development (DSD) Community of Practice based at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) and is coordinated by Dr. Naudé Malan, Senior Lecturer, Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, Faculty of Humanities, and Angus Campbell, Senior Lecturer, Department of Industrial Design, FADA, University of Johannesburg.

The City of Johannesburg is currently implementing an urban agriculture policy as part of a larger food security initiative. This policy creates opportunities for multi-stakeholder engagement, and Izindaba Zokudla is aimed at creating space for such engagement between urban farmers, stakeholders and the city. Farmers are arguably the most important actor in this policy and in urban agriculture in the city. Izindaba Zokudla advocates and argues for specific approaches to urban agricultural development in Johannesburg. It draws on participatory research to build the capacity of farmers’ organisations in Johannesburg, to facilitate engagement with food enterprises in the city, and to use design and technology development as means to improve agricultural practices. During 2013 a strategic plan for a farmers’ organisation was developed and during 2014 this plan is being implemented. This plan includes reference to a farmers market, addressing land tenure issues in the city, developing a technology development workshop, and to create opportunities for students to conduct academic research on aspects of sustainable food system change. On the 5 June 2014, Izindaba Zokudla, will be hosting a workshop at the UJ Soweto Campus with two leading international experts in the creation of sustainable enterprises with specific focus on food systems.

As part of DSD the Izindaba Zokudla project will be on display at the International Union of Architects World Congress in Durban from the 03-07 August 2014 (www.uia2014durban.org)

More information on the Izindaba Zokudla project can be found at http://www.designsocietydevelopment.org/project/izindaba-zokudla/