Agro - pod an ecosystem of agriculral knowledge exchange in the Groblersdal area, Limpopo

There are many threats facing the world’s population. Population growth, global warming and especially food security are challenging the conventional methods of food production that have used for centuries. These methods continue to impact the earth negatively and its ecosystems, hence the prevalence of the devastating effects of climate change on the earth. The resulting effects, coupled with our continued use of fossil fuels to keep up with a growing population can only harm the earth even further and therefore harm our very existence. My chosen site is an abandoned location along a T-junction just outside the town of Groblersdal in Limpopo. The site is already populated with street vendors who originate from the rural area surrounding the towns in the district. These vendors sell fresh produce sourced from the surrounding commercial farms. I find myself confounded by these vendors and their lack of produce variety and always wonder how they sustain their businesses with this typology. What especially bothers me about this dynamic is that these rural communities have been farming traditional crops historically and these highly nutritious crops have managed sustained to sustain them and their ancestors for centuries. These rural communities are native to the places where the crops are grown (or have become part of the culinary culture over time) and these crops are particularly well adapted to the prevailing conditions. With all this considered my intention is to design a self-sustaining hybrid agricultural support center and training facility. This facility will utilise community participation in the building process to promote economic empowerment and the preservation of local vernacular architectural methods and techniques. The programme aims to be inclusive in order to allow for all stakeholders to gain and impart knowledge, promoting a cycle of knowledge exchange By employing sustainable architectural interventions such as rainwater and energy harvesting, passive cooling systems and the preservation and re-use of resources, the architecture can become a transformative mechanism for change in the rural context and restore the pride of the Pedi people
This document is submitted in partial fulfillment for the Degree: Master of Architecture [Professional] at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, in the year 2018
Sithole, Lebogang Sinah (2018) Agro-pod agricultural symposium: an ecosystem of agricultural knowledge exchange in the Globlersdal area, Limpopo, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,