According to World Bank stats, South Africa unemployment rate is currently at 52%. Farm Concern International aims to lower this percentage by turning around the smallholderâ€™s economic empowerment in South Africa. To actualize this, FCI is preparing to start operations in South Africa through theÂ Rural Commercialization & Market Development in South Africa, (RuCoMaDeS).
This intervention is especially critical for South Africa youth because Africa Development Indicators Report on youth employment indicates that todayâ€™s world population is estimated at 1.2 billion people between ages 15 to 24 years, an increase of 17% compared to 1995. About 87% of these young people live in countries with developing economies, such as South Africa. In Africa, 200 million people are within this age range, comprising more than 20% of the population (United Nations 2007). In view of the high unemployment and crime rates among the youth in South Africa, FCI interventions intend to create alternative sources of livelihoods thereby contributing directly towards job creation, crime and poverty reduction. This can be achieved, and will be achieved!
In its next 10-year plan, FCI plans to undertake commercialization, market opportunities, youth employment analysis, women integration in agri-business as well as value chain assessments in Limpopo, Kwazulu Natal and Eastern Cape in South Africa. These analysis will form the basis for commercialization and market development targeting rural communities and innovatively draw youth and women into market-led production and agribusiness opportunities.Â
The goal of the RuCoMaDeS intervention is to increase market participation for South Africa smallholder farmers which will encompass youth participation programmes in agricultural trade, thus enhancing sustainability and profitability of smallholder agro-enterprises. FCI reckons that the future of agriculture is dependent on capitalizing on youth skills youth through an integrated approach with other farmers to ensure food security.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond