Liza Lightfoot, who co-founded Kidlinks Small Farm Incubator (KSFI) with Mpumelelo Ncwadi and Asanda Apleni in 2020, is 'The Matriarch,' Chief Executive Officer of KSFI, and Ex Officio member of its Board of Directors. Her role is to manage the organization and to implement its business strategy, once approved by the Board. Liza brings to the role experience and operational skills in business start-up, management and governance.
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, during the crazy moment of panic buying, KSFI founders Liza Lightfoot, Mpumelelo Ncwadi and Asanda Apleni, saw an opportunity to train EC youth new regenerative ways to farm and deliver food security to those who need it most: rural households.
What began as a three musketeers’ desire to alleviate poverty and reduce regional youth unemployment has become a bottom up revolution to promote an alternative to commodity agriculture.
In 2021, the 23 ha farm that has become KSFI Demonstration and Incubation Farm has been purchased. This will soon be followed by the acquisition of a foundation herd of grassfed Nguni cattle.
Because regenerative organic farming in South Africa is a nascent farming approach that is not favoured by mainstream conventional agriculture, the history of KSFI will continue to evolve as a story of innovation, adaptation, and evolution.
Our model presents the following opportunities
for rural communities
Entrepreneurial training and job creation
Efficient food security
Improved health outcomes
KSFI’s 23 hectare demonstration farm will share efficient systems of small-scale farming, shared resources such as tools, equipment, harvesting and packing infrastructure. Coaching in sales, marketing, and financial management with access to shared office support. With the focus on agriculture education and training KSFI will be uniquely positioned to serve this need because we are targeting freshly produced high value crops produced utilizing regenerative organic methods; currently underserved young farmers with small-scale farmland; and the sales of good quality hand tools and non-GMO organic seed.
MEET THE TEAM
Mpumelelo Ncwadi is the Chief Thinkering Officer, Intellectual Architect and Spiritual Leader of KSFI. His role is to promote creative thinking and discovery through learning by doing. He is a storyteller, wayfinder and forward thinker. He co-founded KSFI to be a catalyst for radical and practical change that creates resilience. Mpumelelo is a certified grazing instructor by the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers.
As the Student Facilitator, Asanda is responsible for designing and supervising student workshops and training, monitoring, and overseeing field reports and research projects. Asanda Apleni is KSFI’s Learning Coordinator. She plans, designs, implements and supervises educational programmes, including coordination and monitoring of student workshops and training courses. She also oversees field reports and research projects. Her background includes a xxxx degree, a M.Sc. in xxxx, and she is completing a PhD at the University of Fort Hare.
Environmental Scientist, Food Security, & Global Health Researcher.
An agro-ecology farmer, trainer of teams of organic agriculture leadership.