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Green energy supplier boosts agricultural co-operative in Genadendal

Co-Op project manager Lazaan Swarts with Valley Food Garden director Marshall Rinquest, who works closely with Living Grace. Picture: Supplied

Co-Op project manager Lazaan Swarts with Valley Food Garden director Marshall Rinquest, who works closely with Living Grace. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 26, 2022

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Cape Town - Living Grace Primary Agricultural Co-Operative wants to restore the Genadendal community’s self-reliance with increased access to nutrient-dense food while providing viable livelihoods and employment opportunities for local youth.

Project manager Lazaan Swarts said this initiative was born after realising that most of the small town’s local community received their food supplies, including vegetables, from outside sources, much of which was of low nutritional value – thus the co-op set a plan in place to change that.

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“The co-op provides the local community with free seeds and low-cost seedlings in addition to coaching community members and providing advice on self-subsistence,” said Swarts.

Swarts said the proceeds from their seedling and vegetable sales provided the members of the co-op with an income so they can also grow and sell their produce commercially, locally and in the surrounding towns.

“We hope to supply as far as Cape Town and to continue to empower the local youth through teaching them the skills needed to produce food, which in turn cultivates a love of nature and commitment to sustainable agriculture,” said Swarts.

The agricultural co-operative said they were close to achieving their vision after receiving development funding and support for their production efforts and local youth training programme from green energy supplier in Cape Town, Globeleq South Africa.

Through this funding the small co-op gained a tractor, agricultural supplies and office equipment to support its production efforts and local youth training programme.

Globeleq SA economic development manager Parmas Chetty said they had a keen focus on funding the development of community agricultural projects with the view of helping communities become more sustainable and self-sufficient.

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“Farming is one of the biggest economic drivers in our country and we believe ongoing support of this sector will help to address socio-economic development challenges, including local employment while we help to build community-owned entities,” said Chetty.

Chetty said they viewed the agricultural sector as a key to boosting the country’s development and supporting social structures within rural communities.

Living Grace Primary Agricultural Co-Operative project manager Lazaan Swarts. Picture: Supplied

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Related Topics:

conservationCape Town

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