Joint agricultural development project starts third plant cycle after successful second harvest

The joint agricultural development project undertaken by AfriForum, Saai, and Thabake Business Enterprise started with preparation for the third planting cycle of the vegetable project that will entail the planting of beetroot, cauliflower, and red cabbage. This follows the successful second harvest that was completed last month – 4 191 kg baby marrows, 728 kg red cabbage, and 740 kg cabbage were delivered to Nutripick during this second planting cycle. Furthermore, 770 heads of cauliflower were also delivered to other customers.

“One of the hardest things to do is to move on after a harvest that did not meet expectations. It is easy to give up if all you have is your product on the floor and empty fields that are waiting to be worked again. All the support that I have and the stakeholders that are involved is a blessing and the fuel that enables me to continue to grow my agricultural business into the profitable and sustainable enterprise I want to leave as a legacy to the benefit of my children and my team,” says Lebo Mosime, CEO of Thabake Business Enterprise.

“It is encouraging to see how our joint agricultural development projects, which focus on the modernisation, mechanisation, and commercialisation of small-scale farmers in the deep rural and peri-urban areas, are bearing fruit. One of our most important focus areas is management development which focuses on the improvement of processes, administration, bookkeeping, and data capture that enables more accurate calculation of profitability and sustainability and therefore the improvement thereof. We are continuously busy with a process to systematically implement regenerative agricultural practices to improve profitability and reduce environmental impact,” says Leon Lourens Development Coordinator at Saai.

“Collaboration on intercultural projects provides cultural communities with the opportunity to get to know each other and to build lasting trust and relationships that are based on mutual recognition and respect. It is a privilege for AfriForum to be part of a growing network of cultural communities that support each other on grassroots level,” says Nantes Kelder, National Project Coordinator of Intercultural Relations and Cooperation at AfriForum.

The next phase of the project entails the expansion of the solar-powered drip irrigation system to increase the scale of the project which will contribute towards sustainability and profitability.

Mosime approached AfriForum in 2022 after she decided to expand the small-scale vegetable production of approximately 2 000 m2 that she had in her backyard. She delivered high-quality products to market, but the scale was too small to be economically viable. AfriForum and Saai supported Thabake Business Enterprise to put 0.75 ha of the 21 ha plot in the area of Phokeng, which Thabake Business Enterprise leases from Royal Bafokeng Enterprise under solar-driven drip irrigation. The first harvest of the project was completed in October 2023.