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OneFarm Share, an online platform that connects farmers to feeding schemes, has delivered 1,000 tonnes of fresh produce, which translates to four-million meals for more than 350,000 people in the country, in its first seven months of operation.
Launched by Standard Bank in partnership with agri-tech pioneers HelloChoice and non-profit organisation FoodForward SA, OneFarm Share is a digital matchmaking platform that links farmers from small to large with registered charity organisations that support feeding operations in impoverished communities.
Standard Bank CEO Lungisa Fuzile says the number of farmers signed up to the platform has increased from 43 in February to 55 at end of May “as more farmers spread the word and appreciate the opportunity to tap into new markets while making a difference doing what they love: playing a part in feeding the nation”.
Grant Jacobs, HelloChoice CEO and co-founder, says farmers really appreciate the convenience of donating through a single platform and trust OneFarm Share to get their nutritious produce contributions directly to hungry children and communities.
According to Fuzile, the initiative remains on track to meet its 2021 goal of increasing its impact by tenfold to deliver 7,400 tonnes of food across all nine provinces, enabling more than 30-million nutritious meals for the needy.
A digitised solution for hunger relief
OneFarm Share was developed in response to critical issues created and compounded by Covid-19. Many small and micro farmers sat with oversupply as market demand for fresh produce slowed and retailers clamped down on their supply chains to focus on large off-takers. At the same time, millions of people faced the threat of increased hunger.
Fuzile says: “The OneFarm Share platform provides farmers with everything they need from finance, to market information, logistics and warehousing support to put food on the table for needy and deserving households.”
Funded through donations from companies and the public, it provides farmers with access to transport, logistics and warehousing in getting the surplus produce to the market quickly and effectively.
“Malnutrition has been aggravated by Covid-19 with the country’s children particularly affected. This challenge cannot be solved by non-profit organisations alone. An ecosystem of multiple players will have the greatest impact in solving an issue that is stunting the growth of our society,” says Fuzile.
FoodForward SA MD Andy du Plessis says: “The OneFarm Share initiative leverages off the strength of the partners. FoodForward SA has the infrastructural capacity, including cold chain facilities and beneficiary organisation network, to receive the huge donations from farmers who are donating directly into our warehouses about the country.
“We then distribute this food to our beneficiary organisations which have been previously vetted and receive ongoing monitoring, to ensure that the food donations we receive in trust through the OneFarm Share initiative goes directly to the intended beneficiaries. We provide the farmers who donate to us with Section 18A tax certificates, so that they also receive this benefit. As FoodForward SA we are honoured to be part of the OneFarm Share 1,000-ton milestone.”
People can donate, via Snapscan, which has enabled international donations. A donation of R100, for example, will provide the equivalent of a nutritious food basket containing cabbages, potatoes, butternut, apples, beetroot and a banana. R250, meanwhile, will provide the same nutritious basket of food for 10 people. For more information, visit www.onefarmshare.co.za.
This article was paid for by StandardBank.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.