Building a Brighter Tomorrow for South Africa

In South Africa’s fertile rolling hills, it may be difficult to envision that issues such as hunger and sustainability run rampant. But when students and professors from the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) visited, that is exactly what they found.

Researchers at the CALS-based Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) are working with smallholder farmer communities to help develop greater sustainability, and in turn a greater quality of life, for those who work the land. Working with local NGOs and co-op groups, they have formed the Livelihood, Acroecology, Nutrition and Development Project—LAND, for short.

The LAND Project aims to build local partnerships to provide better livelihoods for 800 smallholder farmers in 26 villages and empower communities through participatory decision-making. The program, which strives to integrate improved health and nutrition with sustainable agricultural practices such as rotational grazing and carbon sequestration, has matured to the point where it can serve as the basis of a new global health certificate field course. Graduate and undergraduate students visited the Eastern Cape for 15 days to learn about agroecology and hydrology systems and work with community members to establish a one-acre vegetable garden at a school in the village of Kumanzimdaka.

Your donation will help students discover what it means to lead a life of consequence, and learn about themselves and their place in the world. By building stronger communities and increasing sustainability in a critically underserved part of the world, we can continually focus on building a brighter future for everyone on earth.