Business & Economy

Sunday, 24 July 2011 22:25

Cucumbers bring relief to arid Kalahari community

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Contact Details Name : Makgodu Tsehloane Company : National Development Agency Phone :011 018 5500 / 083 444 4114 Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. URL : www.nda.org.za A rural project in the arid Francis Baard District, Northern Cape, has found a novel way to produce top quality cucumbers for steady supply to supermarkets across South Africa.
Located in Windsorton, situated approximately 65km north of Kimberley, Northern Cape, the Tshwaraganang Hydroponics project is involved in the production of cucumbers on contract using the ‘soil-free’ hydroponic farming method.

The project is housed in a multispan greenhouse where all the production takes place using mineral enriched water in place of soil. The cucumbers are harvested three times a week and transported to Kimberley from where Freshmark takes it to their central distribution warehouse in Bloemfontein, the central base for vegetable supply for the Checkers Supermarkets in the Free State, Northern Cape and Lesotho.

The geographically isolated town of Windsorton has seen a boost in income through the project which emerged in August 2008, and has also received funding of R886, 920 issued by the National Development Agency, enabling initial implementation of the hydroponics enterprise. “We are proud to support a project that generates sustainable income and employment for a small community like Windsorton,” says Clive Moses, NDA Northern Cape Provincial Manager. “It is our wish that funding enables the project to continue expanding production.”

Now consistently producing 6000 cucumbers on a weekly basis to their contracted supplier, Tshwaraganang Hydroponics project employs 13 beneficiaries. They receive salaries in excess of the NDA stipulated grant stipend amount. The excess amount is paid from the revenue of the project. As this is an economically depressed area, income earned by beneficiaries of the project has improved lives in the community.

The NDA’s intervention has strengthened the partnership with the provincial Department of Agriculture to use the facility they had already constructed. Acquisition of a truck has saved the project thousands of Rands in transport costs which can now be applied effectively elsewhere in the business. This venture is geared for huge success in the future.

For more information, please contact:
Name: Makgodu Tsehloane
Company: National Development Agency
Phone: 011 018 5500 /
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Url: www.nda.org.za

Read more http://www.mediaweb.co.za/journalist/mnews_j_.asp?id=3791

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