Corona Response and Feedback

While the Corona pandemic is sweeping across the world, Abalimi continues to support the farmers in the townships. Many people are needing to stay at home, while unemployment rises and the need for food security continues. This provides a clear case for establishing additional food gardens, and spring is an important time of the year for planting summer crops before the hot and windy season in Cape Town.

In response to COVID19 the Abalimi team  relaunched its manure runs, as was done in the late 80’s.  This involved taking the garden centre services to the community in far flung areas across the townships, offering seeds, seedlings and manure for sale at nominal cost, plus advice and mentorship to home and community gardens.  All money received from farmers for the inputs went back to buy more inputs for them, thus extending our reach over time.

Below are some photos from the manure runs where we distributed over 15000 seedlings, 22 tons of manure and 1000 masks, as well as soap and hand sanitiser to the community.  This supported over 750 home and community gardens to grow their own vegetables and encourage food security in a practical manner. 

Through providing this service, it reduced the need for farmers to use public transport to collect resources needed for their gardens, thereby reducing the risk of contracting COVID19.  The team went to areas that are not often visited and allowed the fieldworkers to assess the need and interest of potential new food gardeners. A cloth mask was handed out with each purchase, as well as hand sanitizer and soap.  Manure runs were done twice weekly and due to the huge success we will continue to provide this support to the community.

In addition to this we were also able to help with the establishment of various new community gardens. Below are some examples of the new gardens in Langa, the Community Bible School in Khayelitsha and Phoenix Community Reach Out Forum in Milnerton.

With Corona lockdown level 2 in place, we have started with our usual training again.  There is a huge need for training and new food gardens as we find the impact of the recent pandemic lead to high unemployment and food insecurity.  We will continue to provide support, training, access to resources, support around infrastructure and market access to the small scale community farmers and home gardens.

Donations can be made directly to Abalimi (see bank details below) or via BackaBuddy (click here for link or search on

Many thanks for your continued interest in our work.

Best regards

Grace Stead
Interim Managing Director

Our Corona Response Strategy

Abalimi has been working with micro-farmers in the townships for 38 years and the Coronavirus is having a huge impact on the local community.  We are however proactively collaborating with FoodFlow, Lentegeur, OZCF, PLAAS, PEDI, Umthunzi Farming Community and others to find the best solutions for the farmers during these uncertain times.

Our strategy is as follows:

  1. Assess the safety, risk and best response around COVID-19
  2. Access to resources – manure, seeds and seedlings
  3. Access to market – sale of veggies either to suburbs, or preferably to feeding schemes in the township through partnerships.

We are doing the following:

  • Training, mentoring and support is back up and running again, with COVID-19 protocols in place.
  • We will continue manure runs and the crowd funding campaign remains in place to allow for donations towards this.
  • We are available to assist with the establishment of new gardens, which includes on-site support and training, as well as follow up and access to resources.
  • We are collaborating with various role-players to find the best way to ensure harvest can be sold, either in suburbs or in townships.  Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

You can help us with the following:

  1. Spread the word around the work that we do – follow up on Instagram or Facebook
  2. Engage with us around practical involvement such as setting up a new garden or buying vegetables or visiting
  3. Donate to our cause to support small scale farmers in the townships – click here to see details 
Food garden at Kuyakhanya Creché in Khayelitsha