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The joint agricultural vegetable project undertaken by AfriForum, the Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai) and Thabake Business Enterprise completed its first harvest recently. Cauliflower and broccoli were delivered to the market, while cabbage will be harvested at a later stage.
Lebo Mosime of Thabake approached AfriForum in 2022 after she decided to expand the small-scale vegetable production she had in her backyard of approximately 2 000m2. She delivered high-quality products to market, but the scale was too small to be economically viable. AfriForum and Saai supported Thabake to put 0,75ha of the 21ha plot in the area of Phokeng – which Thabake leases from Royal Bafokeng Enterprise – under solar-driven drip irrigation.
“I have knowledge of vegetable farming, but I want to learn and grow. I also want to transfer knowledge to people who want to farm and grow the economy by creating employment opportunities. My vision is to become a fully fledged commercial producer who produces quality products that will be sought after. I want to build and grow Thabake Business Enterprise so that my children and the generations after them have a heritage. “I want to build a lasting legacy. I thank God for this partnership,” says Mosime, founder and CEO of Thabake Business Enterprise.
Making an impact at grassroots level
“We support Thabake to improve their existing ability relating to planning and management of the farming enterprise. We collaborate with local stakeholders with the required technical knowledge with regard to choice of variety, fertilising, pest and weed control and improving soil quality. Lebo understands farming and it is a privilege to support her to develop her farming enterprise to be an economically viable agricultural business,” says Leon Lourens, development co-ordinator at Saai.
“Self-sufficient communities, food security, good relations and cooperation between cultural communities are crucial to ensure peaceful coexistence here on the southern tip of Africa. It is a privilege to be part of a partnership where hard work is put in with a commitment to make an impact at the grassroots level,” says Nantes Kelder, national project coordinator of Intercultural Relations and Co-operation at AfriForum.
Rotation of crops is applied, and the plan is to plant green beans, green peppers, chillies, baby marrow and butternut during the next planting cycle. – Press release, Saai