Fourteen unemployed youths from Johannesburg have received a lifeline after being given two hectares of land to use for farming.
The land at Meyerton in the Vaal was donated by Godfrey Leshage, a local farmer who sells his fresh produce at the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market.
The land was officially handed over on Friday at a special function which was attended by Gauteng MEC for agriculture Khabisi Mosunkutu.
Leshage will also mentor the youth throughout the first stage of this initiative.
All the training will be free and the fresh produce will be sold at the market.
The initiative was the brainchild of the fresh produce market's youth desk which selected the 14 young people from seven regions in Johannesburg. Fresh produce to be planted includes carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and spinach.
"Our greatest challenge is unemployment and feeding our nation," said Mosunkutu.
At the end of the year the project will be reviewed and if the first group does well they can start their own farm and the land will be given to a new group.
Beneficiaries described the initiative as a lifeline.
"Farming will change my life," said Nosicelo Ngcingi of Tembisa.