The Farm and Garden National Trust believes in building a sustainable lifestyle, in which people re-learn how to feed themselves through the planting of their own vegetables.
Through the Farm and Garden National Trust, organic micro-farmers (that is, anyone who is running a home garden, community garden or a small farm) in poor communities can get a minimum of ongoing help.
The kind of help such people need is usually very modest, but it is also very specific, and corresponds to their stage of development along a development chain.
In order to achieve its objectives, the Farm and Garden National Trust:
- Raises funds to assist micro-farmers and their activities
These funds are used to facilitate training and to contract competent service providers to work directly and on an ongoing basis with micro-farmers in urban and rural areas that are either not adequately serviced or do not or cannot attract adequate support by themselves.
- Promotes the provision of training, support or assistance to community-based projects
The Farm and Garden National Trust endeavours to train and equip micro-farmers/gardeners in basic, intermediate and advanced organic crop production, garden and farm management skills and basic, intermediate and advanced business and marketing skills for organic gardening and micro-farming.
Training packages often include resource start-up support such as manure, organic fertiliser, seedlings, tools and equipment.
Certificates are issued for all training courses given and these trainings often result in participants finding employment.
- Provides permanent follow-up support to micro-farmers
All farmers – including micro-farmers – need permanent ongoing training and problem-solving support, geared to their development level, in order to keep up with development and be sustainable.
The Farm and Garden National Trust makes sure that the micro-farmers it supports have access to permanent and ongoing free and/or subsidised training and problem-solving services via competent agents appointed by the Trust.
- Assists community-based organisations to associate with and share skills, experience and resources with other, similar community-based projects, and associations serving such projects
The Farm and Garden National Trust is facilitating the establishment of a one-stop database of gardening and micro-farming groups and associations throughout South Africa, as well as competent service providers who understand and are willing to support such groups and associations.
The Trust is also assisting gardening and micro-farming groups to meet and exchange skills and knowledge directly (horizontal farmer to farmer learning exchange) by paying, to suppliers, certain direct costs for such exchanges – for example, transport and accommodation.
- Supplies subsidised assessment services to micro-farming associations to assist them to continually evaluate their progress and improve practice
Identification, Monitoring and Evaluation assessment and in-field support to trainees, groups and associations are carried out by competent service providers appointed by the Farm and Garden National Trust.
- Supplies free and/or subsidised professional services (organisational development, accounting and legal) to micro-farming groups and associations which directly support micro-farmers through selected partners/service providers