SFG Box (Pty) Ltd and SCAD Software team up to develop mobile app to tackle malnutrition and hunger in South Africa

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SFG Box has partnered with SCAD Software, an ethically-driven software development company, to deliver a mobile app Our App – SFG BOX that can be used to educate and support recipients of the SFG box, or people who are already practicing Square Foot Gardening using their own grower boxes. The SFG App and Box will be launched on 15th March 2022, as part of a programme led by the South African Government to help the unemployed to grow their own food, particularly in urban settings, by donating SFG boxes to destitute households.

TThe SFG box is a world-class, effective, and affordable climate-smart solution that allows vegetable crops or small trees to be grown almost anywhere – both indoors and outdoors – in a climate-smart, water-smart, cost-effective manner and with minimal effort. It is based on a self-watering grow box which is designed as inter-locking compartments so that it is fully customisable to meet the circumstances of every grower. It can be used in small balconies, parking lots or even inside your apartment passageway or a peri-urban township.

Andy Fensham, Founder and CEO of SCAD Software commented: “Mobile apps such as Our App – SFG BOX offer huge potential to empower individuals to improve their prospects. We are committed to making the technology revolution affordable to everyone, by slashing the costs of traditional software development. We are excited by the future for SFG Box.“

SFG Box has adopted the Square Food Gardening (SFG) approach, which aims to maximise crop growth potential in small areas. Simply put, it involves dividing the growing area into small square sections 1 foot (or 30 cm) on each side. This method has proven to be very effective. It ensures available garden space is well organised and easy to manage, with a range of different crops even in a very small space. With a different vegetable in each section, users you can grow anything from a single tomato plant in one square, to four lettuces in another, and sixteen carrots in yet another! Once vegetables are harvested from one square, growers can immediately plant something different in that square, so they have food ready to harvest all through the year.

The first clients will be in the Mpumalanga province where SFG boxes will be deployed to help people with job creation as well as alleviating poverty, hunger and malnutrition. The App will educate and inspire people of all ages to replicate the SFG Box using readily available and cost-effective materials, helping families to scale up production, potentially moving beyond subsistence growers to become commercially viable farmers.

Laurel Oettlé , one of the founders of the concept commented: “So many of us dream of growing our own fresh, nutritious fruit and vegetables, and the COVID-19 lockdowns certainly got many more people trying out their green fingers! But not everyone has the space, money, knowledge, or support to get started, or once started, to keep on going in a way that doesn’t take up a huge amount of time in our busy lives. We are also all aware of the climate crisis and rapidly changing weather patterns, but it’s tough to know exactly how this will affect us personally, and what we can do to adapt to these changes. Some of the changes we are already seeing, and which will get worse over time, are more intense and extreme weather events (think: droughts, floods, fires), and food insecurity.”

The plans are to expand this not only to other areas in African but also internationally to places such as Australia, the USA, Europe and more!

For more information on the SFG Box Solution, please visit : SFG Box website

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Shaun Orpen

Managing Director - International

Shaun is an accomplished commercial leader with extensive experience in the IT and Telecoms industry. Much of his early career was spent with Microsoft, where he progressed from launching Excel into the UK market to the UK Executive Board, responsible for Marketing. He then went onto Orange where he ended up running the business unit responsible for selling to Small, Medium businesses.

Since then he has worked with a number of smaller technology businesses in both Commercial and Advisory roles. His strong commercial focus has led him to consistently contribute to the growth of every organisation that has engaged him. Shaun is heading up the Commercial side of SCAD Software.

He is spearheading the company’s expansion in the UK, Europe and the USA as well as the launch of SCAD Solutions, a business focused on launching innovative solutions to the international market. Shaun’s strong sense of ethics is perfectly aligned with Andy’s vision for SCAD Software.

Andy Fensham

Founder

After working as a software consultant to the global banking industry for six years, Andy has devoted the last two decades to realising his vision to transform the software development industry.

Since 1998, when he founded SCAD Software, Andy was aware that the business world was accumulating a vast and unsustainable level of technical debt, with legacy source code becoming a risk factor for organisations of all size. As markets change and digital transformation becomes integral to every business, Andy realised that out-of-date software would put the future of many organisations in jeopardy.

To address this risk, Andy developed a radical new approach to custom software development, which time and time again has delivered large-scale software projects 75% faster than other methods.

Andy is now overseeing the expansion of SCAD Software into new markets in Asia, Middle East, UK, Europe and North America as well as extending the portfolio to include a number of packaged solutions.