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Promoting Urban Agriculture for Development: Suggestions for Designing the 'Ideal' Social Enterprise Box Scheme in Cape Town

Year: 2012
Working paper number: 316
Author: Thom, Amy
Unit: SSU
Abstract:
Urban agriculture is now a component of many countries' socioeconomic development agendas. For urban agriculture to make a meaningful contribution to development, particularly in South Africa where chronic poverty persists, it must present viable, sustainable business opportunities in addition to its established social benefits. This study, of which this paper is one part, sets forth fresh produce box schemes operated with a social enterprise business model as one such development-orientated opportunity. Focused on Cape Town, the study compared three box scheme models currently in operation; analysed a survey of box scheme consumers to explore the consumer market; and investigated poor producers' agency through cross-case analysis. This paper builds on study data presented elsewhere that evidence consumer demand, as well as demonstrate a social enterprise's ability to compete in the existing market and positively impact disadvantaged urban farmers. The discussion here delves into results around consumer motivations, satisfaction and purchasing habits, in conjunction with the application of Haldy's box scheme development model. This analysis produces suggestions for key characteristics of the 'ideal' social enterprise box scheme that is both financially sustainable and which contributes to improvements in poor producers' agency.
Publication file: WP 316.pdf
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