Residents from Philippi in the Western Cape are being taught how to grow plants using hydroponic methods to help boost employment opportunities.
On the 6th of October, 40 households from Philippi are being assisted with training and supplies to set up small-scale hydroponic farms that will not only give them employment opportunities but also help them build their own small businesses which could grow and include more residents.
The 40 households from Philippi and surrounding areas will be trained how to use a newly developed hydroponics vegetable garden. The gardens will be a hybrid of hydroponic methods and soil growing.
The initiative was launched between Fresh Life Produce, Food Lovers Market, Investec and the Western Cape Government.
The Director of Fresh Life Produce Louis-Gillis Janse van Rensburg, chatted to Kieno Kammies about the new pilot project. Each of these households will be given 50 plants to start the vegetable gardens as well as the infrastructure needed to start the garden. Each tower can hold a total of 48 plants and it uses zero electricity.
“For the first six months, it will be to make sure that they understand how to use the system and how to grow the vegetables for their own use.”
“Once we have piloted this project we have to show that it is possible for them to use it successfully and to expand the project by giving them additional towers to grow access and using these big corporates that are already involved to see if we can create a market for them and create an additional income stream.” — Louis-Gillis Janse van Rensburg, Director of Fresh Life Produce
Should the project be a success, the corporate sponsors involved can then create a new market for which these small-scale farmers can sell their produce.
These hydroponic systems will change the future of many previously disadvantaged people who have struggled to find work plus they will aid in food security for South Africa.