Project information

Sustainable Livelihoods with Agriculture,Mtubatuba

Train & mentor 180 women in rural South Africa who practice subsistence farming to develop agricultural & business skills, increasing household income & food security in an area where poverty, HIV & the legacy of apartheid particularly affect women & children. Emphasis on soil and water management.

January 2014 - December 2015

Charity information

Zimele UK

Zimele UK logo
  • Need


    Problem of high inequality, poverty and unemployment for women.
    Province with highest HIV prevalence (15-49 years) for 2011 at 24.7%.
    Dependency ratio ranges from 61%-96.8%. Many of those of working age groups (15-64) have left community, leaving burden of care to older people.
    49%- 56% of households are headed by women.
    Dwellings with Piped water into house – 3.7% – 22.6%.
    Low levels of services and infrastructure such as poor road systems affecting access to markets for goods produced.


    Job creation & improved nutrition by self-employment in agriculture.
    Skills training enables individuals to use agro-ecological farming systems for their livelihood. Design & set up of farming systems:
    1.Soil health (create a healthy eco system in the soil).
    2.Effective design- proper runoff & rain water management, bad weather protection, increased plant diversity by creating diverse microclimates within the fields.
    3.Pest management- without harsh pesticides.
    4.Plant management.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improved health and well being of 180 women and their dependents in Mtubatuba by end December 2015


    » Introductory meetings with existing Zimele Self-Help Group members (farmers) interested in joining a Farmer Support Group to enlist 180 women.
    » Set up Farmer Support Group monthly meetings to gain knowledge and skills in agro-ecological farming.
    » Skills training from Zimele Facilitator as well as external agents- Dovehouse Organics, Mahlathini Organics.

    180 women enlisted and attend meetings. Training completed. Improved school attendance of dependents. Anecdotal evidence of improved health.

    Aim 2

    Improved participation in the affairs of their community by end December 2015


    » Bi-annual survey of progress and impact on sample of individual farmer member key indicators and end of term evaluation
    » Visits by Agricultural Programme Coordinator
    » Capacity development of Agricultural Facilitator who will in turn develop capacity of women

    Number of visits. 30% of targeted women are involved in community leadership activities.

    Aim 3

    production of farm produce by 180 women by end December 2015


    » Training of Model Farmers from each area (change agents) – 2 per group, and the Facilitator (5 days)
    » Farm System Design Mentorship workshop (in the community) (3 days) for the Farmers to improve understanding of how to design and build farming systems
    » Community Training Days- Practical lesson and demonstration on relevant topic to improved farmer knowledge and capacity
    » Infrastructure support- Improved infrastructure like fencing and soil and water interventions

    Increase contribution of agriculture to house income. 80% of farmers report improved food security & use ecologically sustain¬able practices. Training complete.

  • Impact


    In the long term the women and their dependents will be more financially secure. This will be measured by looking at household income from farming. This information will be gained directly from the farmers.
    The local economy will be more vibrant. This will be demonstrated through the value of sales.
    Ultimately, success will be measured by the women taking over the running of the Zimele self-Help Group programme in their area.


    Women leaving. The Self-Help Groups support and encourage members in difficult times.
    The large producer base complicates the sharing of information and adherence to standards. With short product shelf life, pressure to sell is high. Our extensive experience, community facilitators, and marketing networks ensure the women are best able to address these issues if they arise.
    Adverse weather conditions could affect crops. Using appropriate farming techniques they will be able to reduce this risk


    We regularly update Facebook with anecdotal stories about the progress of all our projects. We also publish 3 newsletters per year. Additionally we will provide formal narrative reports every 6 months or at significant milestones as well as an annual and final report against budget, if required.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £29,400

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,441 Management Support Agriculture Support Programme Coordinator
      £7,853 Planning & Preparation Initial and monthly meetings
      £16,218 Training and Workshops Provision of general and specialist training courses and workshops
      £1,888 Admin Costs Rent, Transport, Insurance, Communication, Stationery, Surveys, Assessment, Monitoring & Reporting

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Goodwill & Growth for Africa £10,000 Guaranteed
    Anon £10,000 Conditional
  • Background


    The project is based in South Africa in the province of KwaZulu Natal. The area is called Mtubatuba and it is an isolated rural community. The Zulu people have been highly affected by poverty, HIV and the legacy of apartheid. The majority of households have no adult males and there are many orphaned children. An average household consists of an elderly illiterate granny with 5 children in her care.


    180 women will directly benefit from the project, along with the dependents in their household. This is commonly taken to be 5 per household, therefore 900 beneficiaries.
    The wider community will also benefit with the increase in economic activity in the area.
    Finally, the children in the area will benefit from the positive female role models provided by these women.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been active in Mtubatuba since 2011 with our Self-Help Group programme. Through the success with this programme we have gained the trust and support of the tribal leaders and the community at large. We strongly believe in sustainable development as illustrated by our track record. We are led by the project participants.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Audrey Matimelo

    Audrey is the Programme Manager of Zimele and has many years experience in development. She has gained the trust of the community.

    Michael Malinga

    Michael is the Agricultural Co-Ordinator for Zimele and has extensive experience in agricultural best practice.

    Midge Joubert

    Midge is the Financial Controller and will monitor and control the budget.

    External Trainers

    We will use Dovehouse Organics and Mahlathini Organics for the specialist training in water and soil management.

A Self-Help Group in Mtubatuba in their garden

A Self-Help Group in Mtubatuba in their garden