South Africa: Farmers showcase horticulture trade
FRESHPLAZA / 26 AUGUST 2019 - 11.59 / STAFF REPORTER
Trading with vegetables, fruits and flowers is increasing in the Bojanala District, drawing hundreds of people yearly to the annual Horticulture Expo and equally creating a platform for sharing ideas amongst the farmers themselves. From the day to day vegetable products, to agro-processed products like beauty items, Moringa and ornamental plants and many others, the 2019 Expo reflected a step in the right direction for this event hosted by the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at Brits Sport Grounds on 15 August 2019. The Expo was held in partnership with Madibeng Local Municipality.
The Bojanala Expo is a developmental initiative in that amongst others is aimed at showcasing horticulture products through various exhibitions as produced by local farmers and consequently market such produce and services. Furthermore, farmers were, through the Expo, afforded training and skill transfer opportunities. With the theme “Live Better with Horticulture”, the entrepreneurs brought what could be termed the cream of their crop products, scoring some good sales and some good exposure for their brands.
Whilst they appreciated the opportunity, farmers were keen on their involvement in making sure that the market grows to greater heights.
Minah Kgwebane of the Masa a Khwebane Primary cooperative who exhibited their Agro processed beauty products, valued the prospect of engaging with other farmers and hopes to participate further in the Expo. From only being in business for a full one year, the young woman who is also a medical doctor by profession acknowledges that agriculture is a way of life. She currently uses aloe vera for her products and hopes to grow business to the export level. Her 5-hectare farm in the far-flung village of Jericho is making strides and with the platforms like the Expo, Kgwebane is adamant that “Business is finding its true meaning,” she said.
Job Betha, one of Honey Nectarous, has been in the honey keeping business for over 10 years in Brits. He currently employs 8 people. He has received financial support from other government organisations. He is also looking forward to further participate in the Expo.
Speaking to the farmers at the opening of the 2nd event, the North West Agriculture and Rural Development Department’s Director at Bojanala District, Ms Arlene Dikolomela said there was a need for business networking platforms and the Bojanala Horticulture Expo will at length serve as a platform for such engagements. “This field requires participants to share ideas on an ongoing basis, and we need this expo to assist farmers to continually meet and engage. We also have invited learners and we need farmers to motivate them,” Dikolomela said.
She was confident of the horticulture performance in Bojanala and resolute towards the sector support and development. “There is potential and as we are working towards the 2030 goal of reducing hunger. We have seen many professionals leaving their sectors and joining agriculture and this indicates that was bound to get some game-changing ideas from them," she concluded.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER