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Zandile Kumalo is a young South African agripreneur with a green thumb and an interest in the environment. ConnectAID's nonprofit partner, the African Association for Vertical Farming, AAVF, met with Zandile in 2018 during an Agripreneurs Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Her palpable energy and ambition were inspiring. The chemistry was immediate, and with the Founder of AAVF, Josephine Favre, she began planning her career path from a young farmer to an agripreneur. Zandile became AAVF's first partner and 'muse'.
"Now is a strategically important time for the agri-industry in Africa" explained Josephine Favre. "We need strong collaboration to boost productivity and feed people. Our young people are the future of agriculture, and inviting them into the agri-scene redefines existing agricultural paradigms."
So, how do we involve young Africans in this journey?
AAVF’s vision is to improve food security and provide a platform to economically empower youth and women in Africa. The AAVF trains young men and women in Africa on smart farming technologies with this objective in mind.
Through regular data collection, we're able to effectively measure the progress and success of our programme. The SKILL RETOOLING analysis identifies a candidate's skill set to optimise their professional performance and output in the agri-scene.
Zandile's agriculture journey was not always easy, but she is resilient and embraced the challenges that come with agriculture and business. The AAVF accompanied her every step of the way. She benefited from coaching for her marketing strategy and received both personal and professional mentorship to reach her goal.
Today, Zandile is part of the growing AAVF family. She is the proud owner of HyHarvest, a hydroponic farm in Johannesburg. She is also the co-founder of Neighbour Roots, a rooftop farm in the heart ❤️ of Johannesburg. Neighbour Roots provides fresh vegetables to the restaurants in the Johannesburg area and supports vulnerable communities in Soweto.
Zandile's success story is our partner’s AAVF's success story. She joined our partner's journey to feed Africa. We invite you to do the same and invest in vertical farming.