OneFarm Share, an online platform that connects farmers to feeding schemes, has delivered 1 000t of fresh produce, which translates to four million meals for over 350 000 people in the country, in its first seven months of operation.
Launched by Standard Bank in partnership with agritech pioneers HelloChoice and non-profit organisation Food Forward SA, OneFarm Share is a digital match-making platform that links small- to large-scale farmers with registered charity organisations that support feeding operations in impoverished communities.
Lungisa Fuzile, CEO of Standard Bank South Africa, says that the number of farmers signed up to the platform has increased from 43 in February to 55 at end May.
“[This means] more farmers [are spreading] the word and [appreciating] the opportunity to tap into new markets while making a difference doing what they love: playing a part in feeding the nation.”
Grant Jacobs, CEO and co-founder of HelloChoice, explains that farmers 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 10 times to deliver 7 400t of food across all nine provinces, providing over 30 million nutritious meals for the needy.
A digitised solution for hunger relief
OneFarm Share was developed in response to critical issues created and exacerbated 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 major off-takers. At the same time, millions of people faced the threat of increased hunger.
“This is where OneFarm Share comes into play,” Fuzile explains.
“The 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 fast and effectively.”
The platform, which is funded through donations from companies and the general public, provides farmers with access to transport, logistics and warehousing in getting the surplus produce to the market fast and effectively.
“Malnutrition has been exacerbated 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.
Andy Du Plessis, FoodForward SA managing director, 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 around 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 000t milestone.”
Individuals 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, while R250 will provide the same nutritious basket of food for 10 people.