In February this year, the BI began an exciting new project with support from the German fair trade company Lemonaid & ChariTea. The aim of this project is to be a resource in our community where farmers can get advice and the necessary to equipment and inputs to significantly boost farming in our area over the next three years.
One of the big barriers to farming in our area is that vegetable seedlings are only available in the city which means that if you want to buy R10 of seedlings you need to spend R70 on transport and waste a whole day travelling to town. To solve this problem, tn the past month we have built a sturdy vegetable seedling nursery fitted with a computerised irrigation and fertlisation system and able to grow 20,000 seedlings per month. Our first seedlings are doing beautifully and they will be ready for sale by the end of April. Our planting cycle is continuous so this means that there will always be seedlings ready for planting for our local farmers.
We have begun laying out a small vegetable farm with a low-tech, water-efficient drip irrigation system which will allow us to demonstrate to our farmers effective and sustainable fertilisation and pest management techniques following both organic and conventional agricultural approaches.