South Africa is about 1.2 million square kilometers in size. Its terrain is made up of plateau, savannah, desert, mountains and coastal plains. The climate is moderate with four seasons per year.
South Africa has a dual agricultural economy: highly- developed large-scale commercial farming sector and an underdeveloped smallholder farming sector. About 12 percent of the country can be used for crop production. High-potential arable land comprises only 22 percent of total arable land. Some 1.3 million hectares are under irrigation. Agricultural activities range from intensive crop production and mixed farming to cattle ranching in the bushveld, and sheep farming in the more arid regions.
One of the largest countries in Southern Africa and the largest economy on the African continent, South Africa’s turbulent and difficult history has, however, resulted in extreme inequality. While the country is classified as a middle-income country, 11 million South Africans face serious poverty and hunger every day; about 70 percent of those live in rural areas and more than half are children.
Heifer's Work in South Africa
Heifer International began working in South Africa in the late 1990s, soon after South Africa’s first democratic elections.
In 1999, a local organization was established and in 2000, Heifer International South Africa was registered
turbulent and difficult history has, however, resulted in extreme inequality. While the country is classified as a middle-income country, 11 million South Africans face serious poverty and hunger every day; about 70 percent of those live in rural areas and more than half are children.
as a nonprofit. Heifer International South Africa works very closely with Heifer International and has, in the past, received support from Heifer International for operational expenses. Heifer International South Africa now has a strong fundraising program. The majority of funding for project implementation is received from South African and international donors. Programmatically, Heifer works with other teams in Africa and with the Heifer International headquarters team to ensure quality and to learn from the experiences of other Heifer offices. Heifer International South Africa is playing an increasing role in advocacy and policy engagement in South Africa.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
Sustainable agricultural production: Animal management and care and shelter construction, integrated crop and livestock farming, soil conservation and preventing erosion and use of natural fertilizers
Water harvesting: Water management practices, tree planting, water harvesting and conservation techniques
Value chain development: Analysis of value chains and facilitating value chain development
Parternships: Facilitating development of partnerships with key stakeholders and raising awareness about the challenges and opportunities of smallholder farmers
Group and social development: leadership, HIV/AIDS, human nutrition and gender
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Paula and Camila Rojas just moved to South Africa from Colombia. Although they’re still getting a feel for the South African environment and change in curriculum, the sisters embarked on their own campaign to raise awareness and funds for Heifer South Africa after they heard about Heifer through the Read to Feed program at their school.
Nikhil Chetty, a grade two learner at Crawford Preparatory School in La Lucia, South Africa has always participated actively in the Read to Feed Program. His passion for the program and determination to help end hunger and poverty is an incredible affirmation of Heifer’s belief that young people have the power to change the world.
When I was given the opportunity to volunteer at Heifer International, I was thrilled because it was an opportunity to support a cause whereby I have personally witnessed its contribution towards alleviating poverty. In my own little way, I hope I can contribute towards the mission of Heifer International in ending hunger and poverty in the world.
The project members were like my second family and every time I was with them I enjoyed it to the fullest.They never made me feel like an outsider, even though sometimes there was a language barrier. I learned a lot about the Zulu culture from them, like the type of food they eat at home and their way of doing things. I got to love and respect it. Manje se ngi khuluma isiZulu kahle (Now I can speak Zulu very well), all thanks to the project members.
Heifer’s Read to Feed program welcomes a new supporter – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Nobel and Gandhi Prize recipient and human rights activist from South Africa.
July 18th is Nelson Mandela International Day, a day when thousands of people in South Africa and across the world will give their time to volunteer to help others.