JOHANNESBURG - An annual horticultural expo held in North West province last week is testimony to the rising trade in vegetables, fruits and flowers in the Bojanala District, the North West province's department of agriculture and rural develoment said on Friday.
The expo held at the Brits sports grounds in partnership with the Madibeng local municipality under the theme "live better with horticulture”, also afforded farmers training and skill transfer opportunities, the department said in a statement.
Among the participants was Job Betha, a Brits honey bee-keeper who has been in business for over 10 years and employs eight people.
The North West agriculture department’s director in the Bojanala district Arlene Dikolomela said the fair provided an important business networking platform for farmers.
“This field requires participants to share ideas on an ongoing basis, and we need this expo to assist farmers to continually meet and engage," she said.
Some of the farmers in Bojanala have quit other professions to pursue farming, including Sonto Mujakachi who left her 25-year job as a corporate executive to go back to her "first love".
On the 50 hectare farm she bought and has been operating since 2016, Mujakachi grows spinach, pepper, beans and baby marrow.
She has recieved nearly R1 million in infrastructure development from the North West agriculture department.
"Our focus is to establish a formidable agricultural company that produces first grade peppers, spinach and cucumber for both domestic and international markets,” said the 51-years-old who employs 20 permanent and 20 seasonal workers.
Mujakachi has contracts to supply retailers Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay, Food Lovers Market and Fresh Mark on a daily basis.
African News Agency (ANA)