Farm City Initiative

The Pitch

The FarmCity Initiative aims to build a pipeline of folks – growers and farmers – who will be the builders of our future local food system. The initiative provides builders with a methodology, resources, connections, and training to help entrepreneurial farming enterprises develop in the city and the region.

Sanjay Kharod

Sanjay Kharod

The Entrepreneur

Sanjay Kharod is a nonprofit and government professional with over 25 years experience as an academic activist and an administrator, focusing on community development, community health, and social justice. He is currently the executive director of the New Orleans Food and Farm Network (NOFFN).

Prior to NOFFN, Kharod worked as a city planner in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he initiated a number of neighborhood revitalization projects—community gardens, neighborhood-managed parks, and market farms. Kharod also worked for the community development and social justice organization Just Food, creating programs relevant to food systems, including those on hunger, poverty, land use, farm loss, nutrition, and environmental impacts from agriculture.

Kharod has also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Rutgers University, Temple University, and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

The Opportunity/Challenge

Persistent food insecurity exists in many New Orleans neighborhoods coupled with large areas of vacant properties. There are not enough farmers to meet the demand for locally grown food.

The Impact

  • Converted 8 vacant lots into brand-new agriculture projects
  • Provided technical assistance to over 120 projects throughout New Orleans

Class

2013-2014 Ventures

Sector

Structure

Non-Profit

Press Coverage

“Both Propeller staff and consultants have helped FarmCity to go from a theoretical idea of wanting to help farmers start businesses to real instruments and pathways that provide handholds for aspiring farmers as they navigate the complex local food system to build their businesses.”

Sanjay Kharod
Founder, Farm City Initiative (NOFFN) ('14)