Agri-villages are sustainable rural developments in which residents benefit from agriculture-based livelihoods. They give populations living in temporary accommodation in remote villages the opportunity to move to new, permanent accommodation with secure tenure, basic services, land for vegetable gardens and access to economic opportunities. Our pilot Agri-village is Jabulani in Mkhondo, around 25km from Piet Retief (South Africa). As well as 100 permanent residences, there is a community centre, an extended and refurbished school, street lights, improved roads, an early childhood development centre, sanitation facilities and electricity supply.
With Jabulani proving a great success and providing a platform for learning about and development of the agri‑village concept, work for eight further villages is now underway. In 2016, we started the second phase of the project: clearing the sites, installing basic services, site demarcation, interim tenure and relocation support. The final phase of the project will see the completion of land purchases, ownership transfers, and creation of social and agricultural infrastructure, with completion due by 2018.