An online platform connecting farmers with food schemes has had 270 tons of excess produce -destined to be destroyed as waste- turned into meals for some 190,000 people.
OneFarm Share, which is an extension of a pilot project originally led by Standard Bank in Uganda, is a partnership-based digital solution which has been successfully trialled in South Africa. Since November 2020, 270 tons of fresh produce has been redirected from the waste pile and made into 830,000 meals feeding 190,000 people.
With South Africa’s Covid-induced lockdown, restaurants, hotels and some small-scale produce markets were closed, creating an oversupply and under-demand for fresh produce. As a result, many farmers were forced to plough their vegetable crops back into the land or offload to livestock yards at a loss.
OneFarm Share, a platform developed by Standard Bank, in partnership with Non-Profit Organisation Food Forward SA and AgriTech pioneers HelloChoice, offers farmers an alternative. The online match-making solution connects farmers with registered charity organisations to assist feeding programmes in vulnerable communities.
During the country’s lockdown, thousands of South Africans were pushed to the limit, the number of unemployed was increasing, and the closure of businesses threatened food security. According to the National Income Dynamics Research-Coronavirus Rapid Flow Survey (NIDS-CRAM), almost one in five South African households say their children are hungry.
Businessinsider.co.za quoted Lungisa Fuzile, Standard Bank South Africa’s Chief Executive, as saying: “The need for food relief is greater than ever, with over 12 million South Africans unsure of where their next meal will come from. Farmers are aware of this need, but feel unable to meet it, without a clear mechanism to manage the requests for donations and an efficient, quick and transparent process to donate food.”