Turning a family project into a sustainable enterprise

The Itshokolele farm in Bultfontein, a family project aimed at producing different vegetables to generate income and provide food security in the community, is a lesson of persistence, resilience and the power of adaptive agriculture.

Around 2013, the family was granted 6ha of land by the government but only 1ha of shade netting and drip irrigation, so they were only able to produce vegetables on a small portion of the land. Without working capital to buy seeds, compost and fertilizers to expand the project, the family only managed to plant around 4 or 5 rows of crops. On several occasions, the family used its grocery money to buy seeds, with family members, including children, going without food for up to three days at a time.… Read the rest...

African Bank and INMED South Africa launch Seeds for Life Stokvel

African Bank and local NGO INMED South Africa are launching an exciting collaborative Seeds for Life pilot project this month to benefit food insecure communities in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape.

According to Dr Sandra Pretorius, Programme Manager for INMED’s Health in Action programme, food security begins in the backyard. “Home and community gardens are a simple solution to improve access to nutritious food,” she says. “Our team has nearly two decades of experience helping individuals, schools and communities implement adaptive agriculture projects to strengthen food security and build sustainable livelihoods in all types of environments.”

Pretorius explains that the story in this impoverished area really began with a local resident, Koos Gradwell, who lives in Kroonvale in Graaff-Reinet.… Read the rest...

INMED ASE in capable hands

INMED ASE Farm Manager Living His Passion for the Land

For Kararegra Mashava, Farm Manager of the first INMED Aquaponics® Social Enterprise (INMED ASE) in South Africa, the charm of agriculture lies in working with living organisms. “They teach you something new every day,” he says.

The INMED ASE in Vanderbijlpark houses commercial aquaponics systems that will be used for food production and training. It will also serve as a consolidation centre for the growing number of aquaponics farmers to sell their harvests at higher market rates, as well as purchase seedlings, fingerlings and other inputs at bulk prices. Ultimately, the INMED ASE will serve as a powerful catalyst in transitioning historically disadvantaged populations, including people with disabilities, women and youth, from subsistence to commercial agricultural production using climate-smart aquaponics.… Read the rest...