By: Itumeleng Morale – March 31, 2020

From the Region for the Region (fRfR) has taken on the challenge to grow climate resilient communities and strive to teach and mentor them to be self-sufficient and environmentally sustainable. This we are doing through teaching the various sectors how to grow a green economy. In return for their action and behavior changes, we will be incentivizing them with access to a market system in the K2C Biosphere. Phiring village has been chosen as the community that from the Region from the Region will pilot their project. The pilot project will officially start in June 2020.

On the 3rd and 13th of March 2020, the fRfR Team went to Phiring Village to meet and talk to SMME’s about their businesses.  Questions were asked such as, when did they start their business, what motivated them to start their business, if their business is registered or not, if they are keeping any financial records, what are the greatest challenges they are facing, and who are their customers. The challenges most of the farmers stated was water shortages and lack of a market. Everyone we interacted with willingly and positively answered all our questions.  We further gave them a brief presentation of the fRfR project, its goals and objectives, and their interest and role in Phiring.

The farmers are currently harvesting butternuts, chilies, spinach, tomatoes and watermelons. On the 7th of March during the Hoedspruit Farmer’s Market, we sold some of their fresh produce and were able to sell most of the stock.  We will be having a meeting will all the SMME’s soon. For our pilot project we will choose people from the following categories:  Arts and Crafts, Cooperatives, Madumbe (colocasia esculenta) farmers, service providers, single farmers, tuck shops, street vendors, transport providers and waste management services.

The fRfR project is part of the Government of Flanders funded Dinkwayane Water Smart Project which is implemented in partnership with Hoedspruit Hub and Conservation South Africa.