Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Dr. Joseph Lanning


The COVID-19 crisis has brought to the fore the fragility of our local, national, and regional food and economic systems. Urban Agriculture (UA) is one solution to rebuilding local food system resilience and creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the region's growing youth population. Although there is an acknowledgment of the utility of the growing number of interventions promoting youth participation in UA, research on specific program design features that attract youth participation is limited. This Capstone research aimed to determine the program design features that attract unemployed youth (18-35 years) living in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, to participate in UA.

The study utilized a mixed-methods explanatory sequential research approach using a single case study of Rhiza Babuyile's Tiny Farm Agri-Program to answer the research question. The findings indicate that despite the barriers to youth involvement in UA, such as limited access to appropriate and adequate financial services, lack of access to land, lack of access to relevant skills, information, and education required to engage in the sector, and unclear market linkage strategies, youth in Diepsloot see UA as a viable livelihood source. The study found that the four most significant program features that attracted youth to Rhiza Babuyile's program are: market-based agricultural skills training, agribusiness training, access to finance facilitation, and market linkages facilitation. The most significant implication for professional practice from these findings is that organizations and governments must ensure that interventions seeking to promote unemployed urban youth participation in UA must address youth participation barriers holistically.


Agribusiness | Community-Based Research | Development Studies | Food Security | Work, Economy and Organizations