Promoting agricultural innovation in AIDS-affected households

An action-research project in Msinga, South Africa

Food and nutrition insecurity are increasingly intertwined with HIV and AIDS. The linkages between malnutrition, on one hand, and HIV infection and AIDS impact, on the other, drives people and their households in a downwards spiral of impoverishment. As many people in rural and semiurban areas partly depend on small scale agriculture, the need for ‘innovations’ in farming for mitigating AIDS impacts is increasingly acknowledged. Too often, however, innovations are introduced from outside, without taking sustainability into account. An interactive, process-oriented approach has high potential to develop appropriate innovations with farmers, though sustainable implementation is not easy. Practical experience in the context of AIDS is urgently needed to come to a mature practice. In this endeavor, the Farmer
Support Group, a NGO working on sustainable agriculture in South Africa, the Sinozwelo Drop-in-Centre, a community managed organization, and the Athena Institute of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, initiated an action-research project in South Africa, with support from RENEWAL, to address this challenge.

Swaans, Kees
Mudhara, Maxwell
Broerse, Jacqueline
Published date: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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