Since 2007, Paul has been involved in implementing Broad-Based Agricultural and Business Livelihood Projects throughout South Africa. He is core part of the management team implementing these projects in partnership with Umsizi Sustainable Solutions (www.umsizi.co.za) and Socio Technical Interfacing, the lead consultants.
From initially conducting and implementing the some of the training personally, he is now responsible for assisting and supporting the team of in-field trainers around the country. This involves providing technical and strategy input, managing the database and phone app monitoring system, doing spatial GIS analysis and mapping for both field work guidance and reporting. He leads the monitoring and statistical analysis of these projects and contributes to the client reporting.
The core objective of these programmes is to mobilise households at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid, and help them get a firmer foothold in the informal economy to better support stable livelihoods for their families. This is builds a foundation for family members to then start to pursue more diverse choices for a fulfilling future. The overall approach for these programmes is to set no barriers or limitations to participation and that any person may participate at any point in the programme, or by starting to learn from others, which is encouraged in order to reach those cannot attend the training sessions.
This Programme has been constantly improved and developed since 2007, and now includes four streams, namely MyFood, MyBusiness, MyFuture and MyLivestock.
The MyFood programme starts with a strong focus on household nutrition and the implementation of homestead vegetable gardens using agroecological and conservation agriculture approaches, supported with low-cost climate-smart infrastructure for those qualifying. The MyBusiness programme provides practical support and training to strengthen the ability of participants to analyse their financial outcomes and identify new marketing opportunities. MyFuture aims to help community members, particularly youth, to analyse their lives and goals and to map out a pathway for change and then how to systematically pursue and achieve their vision by making regular small changes to their actions and behaviour.
MyLivestock, the newest component of the programme, is currently being developed using the same development theory and approach. This programme seeks to enable livestock owners to analyse and work together to achieve more profitable livestock markets by timed more structured sales and support. Where necessary this needs to be accompanied with appropriate infrastructure, improved grazing systems, and will possibly be soon exploring the relevance of mobile phone technology for marketing platforms and trading.