n Agrekon - Urban agriculture's enterprise potential : exploring vegetable box schemes in Cape Town

Volume 52, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0303-1853
  • E-ISSN: 2078-0400
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Urban agriculture is potentially an important element of land reform and economic development programmes in South Africa. The social value of urban agriculture, such as improving food security, developing a sense of community and promoting ecological conservation, is well documented. But in order to effectively contribute to development agendas, urban agriculture must also present viable, sustainable economic opportunities. This study sets forth vegetable box schemes as a context-appropriate, economically feasible urban agriculture enterprise for whichthere is growing consumer demand. A survey of 354 subscribers to vegetable box schemes in Cape Town is analysed, finding these households source half of their fresh produce and a quarter of their total groceries from box schemes. The study explores dimensions of consumersatisfaction and considers ways in which box schemes may be expanded. This paper also offers a brief comparison of different box scheme models in order to demonstrate that a development-oriented social enterprise model can compete with other for-profit models in the market.

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