The gravel road between Keimoes and Upington unfolds onto the lush, green oasis of Eksteenskuil in the Northern Cape. Here, a group of small-scale farmers have created a vibrant agricultural community through hard work and planning.
When Tomahawk Farm was sold in a land claim, the owners faced a crossroads: up and leave, or stay and help. With the future success of the farm and the livelihoods of the local community in mind, they opted to equip a new generation of farmers to take the reins.
Energetic new farmer Mbali Nwoko started her vegetable farming operation only two years ago, but her determination to succeed has been rewarded and recognised. In 2017 she was named one of 20 finalists in the prestigious 702 Sage Small Business Awards.
Hard work, dedication and showing a lively interest in agriculture have propelled Iris Mashaba and Dineo Mokhabuki from being temporary farmworkers to holding managerial positions at major agribusinesses near Mbombela in Mpumalanga.
South Africa has an urgent need for agricultural training at all levels. The Hoedspruit Hub Agricultural Training Centre provides commercial skills training programmes, practical courses to assist small-scale farmers, and funding for education of the unemployed in surrounding communities.
Herenboeren is taking the Netherlands by storm, with city dwellers and urbanites paying farmers to produce food according to their exact specifications. Gerhard Uys spoke to Boudewijn Tooren, a board member of the co-operative, about this radical approach to farming.
You Reap What You Sow is a successful agricultural co-operative located in the Mohlakeng township, west of Johannesburg. Launched in 2011, the initiative is 90% black-women owned and employs 12 people and creates a further 36 job opportunities through learnerships as well as seasonal and casual employment.
In 2009, the managing director of Nerpo, Aggrey Mahanjana, took charge of the 5 000ha Carnarvon Estates land reform farm in the Eastern Cape. Today he can look back on a successful journey, but one that has had its share of bumps and potholes.
Gelukwaarts School near Van Stadensrus in the Free State was launched by commercial farmers in the late 1990s to serve their workers’ children. Sunet Wessels spoke to Mike Burgess about the vibrant school that today educates 292 pupils on the farm Longlead.
Government’s move to establish agri parks as a way to transform rural communities has sparked much debate. amaVeg in Komatipoort has successfully broken into the local and export markets and is proof that the agri parks concept can work.
It’s been four years since the Department of Trade and Industry launched an initiative to increase capacity and competitiveness in South Africa’s textile and apparel industries. CEO of Cotton SA Hennie Bruwer spoke to Robyn Joubert about the programme’s achievements so far.
Gugulethu Zondi, the Agricultural Research Council’s 2016 National Emerging Beef Farmer of the Year, says that farming should be treated like any other business, and that beef farmers should choose their breeds based on performance rather than preference.