Bana Ba Kgwale creates employment opportunities in Jerico Village
17 Oct 2012
A Cooperative started by a group of unemployed men and women is changing the lives of its beneficiaries and the community of Jericho. Bana Ba Kgwale Primary Cooperative was formally registered in 2009 with an aim to create a sustainable agricultural enterprise that would create jobs for its members and people from the surrounding Jericho village.
The Cooperative produces vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, beetroot, carrots and peppers in open fields under drip irrigation on 22 hectares of tribal land. The total hectares available to Bana Ba Kgwale are 510ha which will be fully used as more funds are made available for expansion. All crops are produced according to Global GAP standards and standards set by the major retail stores in South Africa.
The National Development Agency (NDA) approved an amount of R1 650 600 which was used to buy H100 Hyundai with a cold unit, four unit clock system, purchase surface pipes for 12ha and pump station with barrage in the river. The rest of the money is currently used to buy seedlings, fertilizer and pesticides.
“I am very proud of Bana Ba Kgwale Cooperative members! Not only have they made a success of the opportunity that they received, but they have shown commitment and dedication to making this project a success. The NDA acts as a catalyst in unlocking the potential of communities in need and it is up to them to fully use opportunities given. ”, said Dr Vuyelwa Nhlapo, Chief Executive Officer of the NDA.
All the produce has a guaranteed market at Pick ‘n Pay. The first and the second grade produce are sold to the fresh produce markets in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Springs. Current production output is at 5 000 bundles of spinach and 1 000 heads of cabbage per day, six days a week, both selling at R3.50 each. The Cooperative has already made a turnover of R400 000, 00.
The Bana Ba Kgwale Cooperative, which supplies free vegetables on request to six schools as part of their social investment initiatives, is situated in Jericho village, 80 km northwest of Pretoria and 40 km north of the Brits, within the Madibeng Local Municipality, Bojanala District Municipality in the North West province. Jericho is a rural community of 13, 000 faced with high unemployment rate and poverty.
Jacky Maiketso, the Cooperative’s chairman concluded by saying: “Our dream of becoming farmers has indeed materialised. We got the idea after attending a workshop run by the Madibeng Local Municipality’s Local Economic Development unit, whereby we were taught business, finance and management skills. We organised ourselves into a group and got into vegetable production as we had enough land. There are many people in the community who don’t work and I believe that we can create enough jobs and improve the local economy”.
The Cooperative is currently building a 2 500 square metre packer house which will consist of working stations as well as refrigeration facilities. Other future plans include resuscitating the small, medium and micro enterprises which will sell their produce through the Bana Ba Kgwale pack house, facilities for broilers and layers, training and empowerment of young unemployed graduates and community members, earthworm production projects, capacity building of emerging farmers in districts surrounding Bana Ba Kgwale Cooperative.
Other partners are the African Farming Franchise which initially received R2,1 million from Pick n Pay to finance start-up infrastructure, equipment, farming implements and working capital for Bana Ba Kgwale. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development contributed two tractors, tiller, two-shear plough, 80/100 pump and motor, main irrigation line for 21,7ha and three mist blowers and has committed to a bigger amount towards expansion of the Cooperative.
“I believe that this project is one programme that will create jobs for the community of Jericho. The commitment of the beneficiaries is important and will ensure growth. Within two to three years, there will be a fully fledged farm with a packhouse and a processing plant, supplying the local market and other provinces”, said the NDA North West Provincial Manager, Mr Potlako Ntlatleng.
Marketing & Communications Manager
National Development Agency
Tel: 011 018 5538
Cell: 072 607 2360
Mr Potlako Ntlatleng
NDA North West
Tel: 018 392 6892
Cell: 079 509 9988
Issued by: National Development Agency
17 Oct 2012
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