AfriForum and Saai supports peri-urban farming enterprise to improve efficiency

AfriForum and Saai joined hands with Gung’s Boerdry to improve productivity and efficiency of this peri-urban farming enterprise through the donation of a tiller. Gung’s Boerdry produces chillies, brinjal, other green vegetables and medicinal herbs on a 2.5 ha plot at Zuurbekom in the West Rand. This diversified agricultural enterprise also involves agro-processing, produces achaar and preserved fruits, and also includes a chicken and duck hatchery.

“My father was a farmer, it is a privilege for me to follow in his footsteps as an organic farmer now that I am retired. Gung’s Boerdry has two permanent employees and one part time employee, and we currently have to do all soil preparation by hand. We are very excited about the prospects of improved efficiency and productivity that is possible now that we have this machine. We are looking forward to learning more about mechanisation and regenerative agricultural practices,” says Cynthia Sekgobela, founder of Gung’s Boerdry.

“Family farmers like Cynthia is at the core of Saai. Not only does she farm profitably on a small piece of land in the city, but she also uplifts her community, does training and has an understanding of sustainable agricultural methods. It is a privilege for Saai to contribute towards such a success story,” says Iné Bester, Operational Manager at Saai.

“Community self-sufficiency and good intercultural relations are key to ensure a free, safe, and prosperous future for the children of all communities in southern Africa. We appreciate this opportunity to help community members that are helping themselves and are setting an example by contributing towards the economy, employment opportunities and training,” says Nantes Kelder, National Coordinator of Intercultural Relations and Cooperation at AfriForum.

Gung’s Boerdry supplies 400 kg of fresh vegetables per week and 375 kg preserved vegetables per month to the Johannesburg fresh produce market, hawkers, governmental institutions, local businesses and the informal market. The enterprise also runs an accredited Agriculture Academy that provides training in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and the Free State to non-profit organisations. Sekgobela is also a member of Izindaba Zokudla farming group at UJ Soweto Campus and the farming study group in Zuurbekom, she is also a retired accountant and tax specialist.

“Saai is involved in these joint agricultural development projects to modernise, mechanise, and commercialise small holder farming. We aim to empower the deep rural, communal, and peri-urban areas by following the landscape approach to agricultural development. We are looking forward to the fruits that this joint effort will bear,” says Leon Lourens, Development Coordinator at Saai.

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