iZindaba Zokudla: A conversation about food systems change in South Africa
iZindaba Zokudla (IZ) is a multistakeholder engagement project that aims to create opportunities for urban agriculture in a sustainable food system in Johannesburg. IZ implements the Farmers’ Lab, a social lab used as a transitional mechanism in a larger transition to sustainability. To move the South African urban food system to an ecologically sound, economically productive, and socially equitable system, significant stakeholder integration is needed, and the iZindaba Zokudla Farmers’ Lab provides that. This reflective essay presents a history of the project (2013 until now) detailing the project’s creation of an ecosystem based on social labs that facilitate innovation in the food system. Emergent entrepreneurs and others use the social labs and their activities, as well as stakeholder engagement in their enterprise development, and these Labs have created opportunities for applied and other research in the university. This has brought innovation and change to agroecological practice in Johannesburg. This reflective essay article situates IZ within the broader evolutionary change in South Africa and considers how conversations about food lead to the creation of sustainable food systems.
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