12 May 2023
by Joy January
AfriForum and Saai donated a hoe plow to the suburban farming enterprise Gung’s Boerdery to improve its productivity and efficiency.
Nantes Kelder, national coordinator of intercultural relations and cooperation at AfriForum, says they are grateful for this opportunity to help community members who want to help themselves and set an example by contributing to the economy, job creation and training. “Community independence and good intercultural relations are important to ensure a free, safe and prosperous future for the children of all communities in Southern Africa.”
Gung’s Boerdery grows chillies, eggplant, leafy vegetables and medicinal herbs on a small holding of 2,5 ha at Zuurbekom on the West Rand. This diversified agricultural enterprise also involves agro-processing, producing atchar and canning fruits. They also farm with chickens and ducks.
Cynthia Sekgobela, founder of Gung’s Boerdery, says she is very excited about the prospects of increased efficiency and productivity thanks to the donation.
“My father was a farmer and it is a privilege for me to follow in his footsteps as an organic farmer now that I am retired. Gung’s Farm has two full-time and one part-time employee and we currently have to do all land preparation by hand. We look forward to learning more about mechanization and regenerative farming practices.”
Gung’s Boerdery delivers 400kg of fresh vegetables per week and 375kg of processed vegetables per month. The products are delivered to the Johannesburg fresh produce market, hawkers, government institutions, local businesses and the informal market.
This company also operates an accredited agricultural academy that provides training to non-profit organisations in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and the Free State. Cynthia is also a member of Izindaba Zochudla farming group at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Campus and the farming study group in Zuurbekom. She is a retired accountant and tax specialist.
Saai is involved in these joint agricultural development projects to modernise, mechanise and commercialise small farms. Leon Lourens, development coordinator at Saai, says they are looking forward to working with Gung’s Boerdery. “We are trying to empower the remote rural, communal and suburban areas by following the landscape approach to agricultural development,” says Leon.
Iné Bester, operations manager at Saai, believes that family farmers like Cynthia are at the heart of what Saai stands for. “She not only farms profitably on a small piece of land in the city, but she aloso uplifts her community, does training and has an understanding of sustainable agricultural methods. It is a privilege for Saai to contribute to such a success story.”