Agric training strengthens food security and livelihoods

by Shelagh McLoughlin
7 December 2022
7 December 2022

A mini green revolution could soon be blooming in some of the poorest provinces of the country, thanks to an injection of agricultural training by the WAYSE programme. This training is expected to reach more than 1000 people.

The need to address hunger and joblessness in places like rural KZN, Free State and Eastern Cape —where most of the training is happening —is huge. Over the years, SaveAct has worked on trying to address these needs through the savings methodology, and there has been some success.

In a survey of just under 600 new savings group members, 40% reported that their family was “struggling” or worse to obtain enough food and nutrition, but when they were surveyed a year later, this number had dropped to 31%. The survey was conducted between 2020 and 2022, using the Poverty Stoplight tool.

Joining a savings group really does affect SaveAct’s members in many positive ways, but much more needs to be done. The WAYSE initiative (Women and Youth in Sustainable Enterprise) is focusing on building livelihoods and food security, with agricultural training a key enabler of these critical needs.

Several different agricultural modules are being rolled out, with some already done. The first round of training focused on food security, with 20 staff members from SaveAct and partner Siyakhula Sonke being trained by another partner, Siyazisiza Trust. Participants learnt about basic food production techniques, including soil testing, pest control and companion planting, and this was then taught to 1 070 savings group members. It is intended that they, in turn, will pass on this knowledge to their communities.

For Sithembile Zungu, a savings group member who has been selling vegetables from her garden at Ntabamhlophe near Estcourt for two years, the knowledge she gained from this course was very useful. “I have now planted anew,” she said. “I tested the soil myself and knew which plants would work best because of the training.” She was also able to determine that her soil was acidic and apply a remedy.

Agri-Enterprise Development training, a more advanced course, focused over three days on how to start and manage an agricultural enterprise. This training by Siyazisiza Trust reached 459 farmers.

“My mind has been really opened by this training,” said Claudia Ntuli about attending the Agri-Enterprise Development course. “We are so thankful to SaveAct for caring about us as women and teaching us to save money, and then coming to teach us about farming our gardens, by bringing Siyazisiza Trust.”

Ntuii, who is also from Ntabamhlophe, runs a thriving business selling pickles and juices made from vegetables that she grows. She has attended several courses offered as part of the WAYSE project, which she said have provided her with valuable knowledge about running an efficient business.

Next year 24 people will be trained in Nursery Operations and Management, and 120 will be trained in Poultry Enterprise Management and Operations, as  part of agricultural specialisation . The courses will be run by Siyazsiza Trust.

There will also be two Business-in-a-Box training courses focusing on broilers and layers. Two more retail-focussed Business-in-a Box are being explored.Ten staff members will be trained to run these modules that will reach 500 people.

WAYSE is supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the GermanFederal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).









We are grateful for all contributions
to our work, regardless of their size.


33 Alan Paton Avenue, Scottsville

South Africa

+27 (0) 33 345 1222