By creating a cooperative of 25 small farms, Tshwane’s Food and Energy Centre is securing its food and energy supply for generations to come.

The Challenge

Economic and energy poverty and food insecurity are already national crises in rural South Africa, without taking into account extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods caused by climate change. As a flagship project, the Tshwane Food and Energy Centre is creating new opportunities for people from vulnerable communities to become small-scale entrepreneurial farmers, contributing to the food security of the region and establishing new sources of energy.


The Solution

The Tshwane Food and Energy Centre was established in 2015, providing small- scale farming opportunities to underprivileged residents under a cooperative model, incorporating synchronized production and centralized transactions. The Centre comprises 25 individual plots, where farmers tend to 60,000 chickens and manage 72,000 m2 of vegetable plots. By vertically integrating assets, the Centre is able to finance a hatchery and slaughterhouse, as well as vegetable processing, seedling production, crop farming, and feed mill facilities. By creating a supply of nourishing produce that is locally, organically, and sustainably produced, the Centre ensures food sovereignty and security for the local community and the region at large. In addition to food production, the Tshwane Food and Energy Centre produces self-sustaining energy via a photovoltaic solar power plant and by reusing livestock organic waste as feedstock for the production of biogas. This both reduces energy costs and serves as another source of income, while ensuring energy security for current and future entrepreneurial farmers.


Environmental Benefits - The organic agriculture techniques implemented at the Food and Energy Centre enhance soil fertility, making it less susceptible to erosion.

Social Benefits - The project will improve capacity building of entrepreneurs in new ways of farming and business management.

Economic Benefits - The Centre is structured so that participating entrepreneurial farmers become independent and self- sustaining, enabling the potential expansion of the model.

Health Benefits - The Food and Energy Centre secures access to food, ensuring the community is getting the nourishment it needs.


About Cities100

In its second year, Cities100 – presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation. For the first time, this year’s publication features solutions that address the nexus of climate change and social equity.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2016 publication online here and read more about how may­ors will de­liver the aims of the Paris Agree­ment in a fore­ward by Anne Hidalgo, C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris, here.