Agroecology Hubs (AE)
In the past ten years, the Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) has established community nurseries and seed banks in rural towns in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo and the Western Cape.
Alongside these nurseries and seed banks, TCOE established 15 Agroecological Hubs and two Agroecology Nodes which is managed by our experienced Food Sovereignty Stream leaders together with a team of dedicated farmers, mainly women, from local rural based farmer associations as part of the farmer-to farmer’s extension network. The Agroecology Hubs act as learning sites for farmers to reflect, innovate, promote self-sufficiency and learn from agroecological innovations in Southern Africa.
These Hubs support the growth of more localised food systems, bringing food production closer to where it is needed while stimulating rural economies. Agroecology is also central to climate change mitigation and explores alternative solutions to the climate crisis, while building local climate justice leadership.
Farmer and local food production support, such as our Agroecology Hubs, is essential for building ecologically sustainable and resilient alternatives to the dominant models of development and industrial models of farming which prioritises profits before people and nature.
Our Agroecology Hubs provide the following services:
- Agroecological training and facilitated peer-to-peer learning and sharing.
- Farmer-to farmer support groups and capacity building.
- Seed rehabilitation, seed sharing and seed saving.
- Input production and supply including seed banks/networks, seed production for distribution, nurseries, compost and bio-fertiliser production with training for integration into farm production over time.
- Providing infrastructure such as living fences, JoJo tanks, pipes and other water infrastructure, storage facilities, sheds, processing machinery and other farming equipment.