Enterprising Women

INMED’s commercial aquaponic system for the Pella Food Garden Co-operative is now up and running. The seeds that were planted last week have already germinated and are peeking out of the gravel. The traditional crops under drip irrigation in the shade net area are growing exceedingly well, says INMED South Africa Operations Manager Janet Ogilvie. “Although it is winter and rather cold at night in Pella, the crops are doing well and should be ready for harvest within the next 2 – 3 weeks.” Crops under the shade net include carrots, tomato, onion, beet root and spinach. Sweet potato, red potato, and white potato under drip irrigation but not under a shade net are also doing well and are only a few weeks away from harvest.

The co-op has already identified more profitable markets for its higher quality produce, such as bed and breakfasts, hotels and large industrial employers in the region. And now that the co-op has a donated printer with toner, the group has found a service niche it can fill for additional income. Because only 2 companies offer document printing/copying in the area and charge such a steep price, the co-op members who have received computer training will offer printing and typing services at a reduced rate. This additional income will allow these enterprising women to provide greater stability and opportunities for their families.

Learn more about INMED’s Adaptive Agriculture and Aquaponics programs at https://inmed.org/aquaponics.

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