In 2015, Siphamandla Bilitane started Crispy Crop, where he farms butternuts, watermelons, and tomatoes. His farm is 20 hectares in size.
Siphamandla and his team start their planting season on the 1st of July every year. “Butternut, watermelon, and tomatoes are planted for the local Cape Town Market and for Tiger Brands, tomatoes are planted in the first week of October and harvested in January.”
“I became a farmer to improve my livelihood and that of my family, and to create jobs and contribute to the Gross Domestic Product.”
Siphamandla currently employs two staff members.
Farming is not only Bilitane’s passion, but also his lifestyle. “The most important aspect of farming is the contribution I make to food security and creating jobs and opportunities for others.”
Siphamandla has not come across any stereotypes about being a farmer, but many see him being successful one day due to him being a responsible and hard-working person.
Siphamandla is part of the 2019 SAB Urban Agriculture Programme, and hopes to improve his business skills. “I would like to gain access to larger markets to grow my business and essentially create more jobs.”
Now in its second year, the Urban Agriculture Programme invests in high potential farming businesses, by integrating technology solutions that will grow the businesses and create lasting employment.
The 15-month business development programme provides participants with technical and operational training, hydroponic infrastructure investment, industry-based mentorship, as well as market access.
Some info on SAB Kickstart
Powered by SAB’s flagship youth entrepreneurship programme, SAB KickStart, the Urban Agriculture programme, which aims to identify and invest hydroponic technology into high potential farming businesses, has announced nine finalists who will receive training and investment to grow their farming businesses.
With Stats SA in October revealing that unemployment was at its highest level in 11 years, the programme aims to help create jobs through youth owned farms. Black African women are the most vulnerable, facing an unemployment rate of 34.5%, compared to black men with an unemployment rate of 31.3%. “We are happy that five out of the nine finalists are young black women,” said Phumzile Chifunyise, Enterprise Development Manager, SAB and AB InBev Africa.
An Enterprise Development programme, SAB KickStart is aimed at youth entrepreneurs aged 18 and 35. The programme has been running since 1995 to develop, invest, and grow revenue generating youth businesses in order to create jobs. Now in its second year, the Urban Agriculture programme invests in high potential farming businesses, by advancing farming businesses with technology that will grow the businesses and create lasting employment.
“As an organisation that is imbedded in agriculture, our intention is
to attract young people to the sector by alleviating the high barriers
to entry such as technical and operational resources.”
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