AfriForum, Pioneer, Saai, Agri All Africa (AaA), Purposely Ignited, Boschveld Free Range Chickens, Agrico and Laeveld Agrochem took hands with the Boiphitlhelelo Co-operative to tackle a joint agricultural development project at Noga’s Post village of Thaba ’Nchu close to Bloemfontein. These stakeholders decided to support the Noga’s Post community with this development project after the community successfully produced maize and vegetables during the previous planting season.
The Boiphitlhelelo Co-operative was established in 2017 to benefit from the one-household-one-hectare programme of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. 36 households originally joined the cooperative and under the leadership of Kgosatsana (Princess) Gabo Moroka, traditional leader of Noga’s Post, managed to plant, on own initiative, an additional 20 hectares of maize and vegetables on top of the 36 hectares planted by the Department during the 2019/2020 planting season. Many community members also produced food from their own gardens. The vegetables and maize produced ensured the availability of food in the community during the difficult months of lockdown.
“We worked very hard to change the mindset of the community members of Noga’s Post to have hope again and to work to ensure food security and a better future. I am so proud of the achievements of the community and thankful that other stakeholders decided to join our project so that it can be an even bigger success. This initiative is an example of what we mean with peaceful coexistence and cooperation. I consider this cooperation as a continuance of the good relationship that started in the time of my ancestor, Kgosi Moroka II, in 1836,” says Kgosatsana Gabo Moroka, Spokesperson of the Boiphitlhelelo Co-operative and traditional leader of the community.
“It is so inspirational to work with the community. They are very passionate about the project and have big dreams for the future. For Pioneer it is a privilege to be involved with this project through, amongst others, the donation of the best quality seed that will contribute to make an even bigger success of this project,” says Charles Matlou, Smallholder Farmer Development Manager at Pioneer Hi-Bred RSA.
“As a family farmer network it is important to Saai that people that want to be commercial farmers, be supported to develop agriculturalists that can not only create wealth for themselves but also contribute to food security in the country. Here at Noga’s Post there are families that want to farm, and that is why we are involved with our implementation partner, Agri All Africa,” says Dr Theo de Jager, Board Chairperson of Saai.
Agri All Africa coordinates the commercial farmers of the area that is involved with the project. These farmers act as mentors for the community members and also lend support with the supply and use of equipment.
“To AfriForum it is a great joy to be involved with this community project. They proved that they want to be self-sufficient and that they are willing to work to create a better future for their children. A future where we can be free, safe and prosperous is possible through mutual recognition and respect and cooperation between different cultural communities and stakeholders. This project is an excellent example of this,” says Barend Uys, Head of Intercultural Cooperation at AfriForum.
Gerda Kotzé of Purposely Ignited provides support with the coordination of the various stakeholders, while Mike Bosch of Boschveld Free Range Chickens also donated chickens to the co-operative. Lowveld Agrochem provided seed packs for the home vegetable gardens in the community and also supports the larger agricultural project with other means. The local Agrico branch in Bloemfontein contributes by designing the water reticulation and irrigation systems for the Boiphitlhelelo farming project with the aim to specify the optimal irrigation for each crop and area to be irrigated in order to maximise yields and profit.