18-10-23 / Sisanda Ndlovu
Corporate contributions critical to accelerate relief efforts for flood-stricken communities
Johannesburg - The recent floods in Eastern and Western Cape regions have cost 11 lives in the Western Cape and left hundreds of people homeless, with the areas of Franschhoek, Kleinmond, Hermanus, Betty’s Bay, McGregor, and Franschhoek being the worst hit. Eastern Cape is still suffering from the aftermath of floods earlier in the year where coastal areas, including Port St John, were hit.
Standard Bank is contributing an additional R 1.5 million for relief efforts and is mobilising its OneFarm Share ecosystem to enable farmers with access produce to assist distressed communities in both provinces. In addition to the financial contribution, the bank has mobilised more tonnes of fruits and vegetables that will be donated to Non-Profit Organisations.
OneFarm Share is a digital platform that multiplies the impact of food donations and streamlines procurement directly from farmers and food producers. With the assistance of expert trade advisors, the programme facilitates the smooth delivery of nutritious farm produce, to established food distribution partners, at the lowest possible cost.
“Our thoughts are with the affected families and communities. The impact of climate change and ongoing food insecurity in our country requires everyone to work together, to find innovative solutions. Approximately a third 10 million tonnes of food produced in SA goes to waste every year, these losses generally occur early in the food chain. Using innovative technology-driven business models can minimise food waste on farms and ensure people in need receive nutritious food that would otherwise be lost.” says Niki Neumann, Head of Agribusiness Platforms, and Innovation for Business and Commercial Banking, at Standard Bank.
Since inception, OneFarm Share has matched over 19250 tonnes of produce requested on the relief marketplace (digital platform) to availability of excess and or out of spec produce from registered farmers. The total rand value of the procured produce, which otherwise would have not been viable on the commercial markets, is more than R 88 million. More than 60% of that value has been directly paid into emerging farmers and 22% into female farmer-owned enterprises. This has helped 444 small-scale farmers get to market and earn better prices for their crops, and seeing these farmers earn more than R 55 million for their efforts.
“We are deliberate about balancing the challenges posed by climate change with the need to support access to reliable energy, water security and other resources that support economic growth and poverty alleviation. We are actively encouraging sustainable agricultural practices and partnerships through specific solutions that support climate-smart agriculture – smart energy, smart water, smart equipment, and smart practices. We will enable access to trade markets for farmers, drive financial inclusion, support supply-chain efficiency and minimise food waste on farms through our OneFarm platform, with a continued commitment to supporting innovation and growth across the agricultural value chain.” adds Neumann.