Best Projects 2022 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs, or informal programs.
Organic vegetable production
Explain your project in details:
At BW & Daughter farms we produce organic vegetables, our main vegetable / crop is tomato. Tomato is a popular ingredient in soups, stews, sauces and various other dishes. A range of other vegetables (beans, butternut,spinach, onion and carrots) are produced on rotation. Our project is based on reviving rural agriculture which previously relied heavily on rainfall. The sector has been largely impacted by climate change. Our main objective is to bring fresh, organically grown vegetables closer to disadvantaged communities while creating employment. We use drip irrigation to irrigate our crops to save water. Our compost is made out of weeds and animal manure. We have adopted the minimal tillage method to protect the soil structure. Fish emulsion and chicken manure pellets are used to fertilize our crops. Mulching using organic mulch is adopted to protect the soil, retain moisture and decrease soil erosion.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Roughly 65% of Africa's population relies on subsistence farming. While subsistence farming is appealing to rural farmers because it allows families to be self-sufficient, it is heavily susceptible to climate change. Focus on agribusiness can help improve the lives and the image of farmers in Africa. By turning farming into an entrepreneurial endeavor, agribusiness could create the mass number of jobs needed for youth in Africa. Agriculture should now be taken as a business, not a way of life. Agricultural transformation will help to revitalize the rural areas, turning them into zones of economic prosperity. Agriculture is a major source of income in Africa; however, untapped agricultural potential has contributed to persistent poverty and deteriorating food security. The vast majority of the continents populations living in the rural areas also lives in extreme poverty. Availability of high quality food is important for the health of a nation, especially young children and pregnant women. Our chemical free vegetables are produced by women in a rural area. The vegetables are sold to community members and informal businesses at an affordable price.
Sustainability and future plans
We use the business to business (B2B) and business to customer (B2C) model. South Africa's informal economy is estimated to be 28.8% and accounts for about 18% of GDP. Our target market is street vendors and hawkers who travel to more than 100 km daily to the nearest fresh produce market to access fruits and vegetables to sell to rural communities. We aim to decrease their travel distance by almost half or more. We will be expanding our operations to 5ha. Women headed household in South Africa are estimated to be around 42%, women carry the burden of providing for their families alone, more than 70% of our employees will be women. We are planning to also establish a fresh produce market next to the farm where other small scale farmers can also sell their produce.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I was born and raised in South Africa, Limpopo province in 1989 (32 years). Born in a family of farmers. My great grandparents, grandparents and father were into livestock (Pigs, cattle and goats), horticultural crop production and poultry farming. My father produced tomatoes, spinach, beetroot and carrots which he sold to local community members, tuck-shops and vendors. I hold a Masters degree in chemistry from the University of Limpopo and a certificate in project management from the University of South Africa with extensive experience in research and managing different projects. In July 2022 I was one of the four youth who were selected and sponsored by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to attend a summer school at the University of Sao Paulo ESALQ. ESALQ is one of the leading agricultural college in Brazil, we were exposed to technologies and economics of the Brazilian agricultural sector. Some of the technologies such as the use of semiochemicals for pests and insects control will be adopted in our operation.