Welile Gumede started Azowel Projects in 2018, where she grows tomatoes and cabbages. The farm is eight hectares in size.
“We plant tomatoes in tunnels and cabbage on the open field. Our daily operations consist of weeding, irrigating, pruning, harvesting, packaging, and delivery of produce to Enterprise iLembe, which is currently our biggest market.”
Welile saw a neglected farming space and decided to make use of it by creating work for herself and others in the community. “I love market availability and food security.”
Due to Welile not having any farming experience, many people thought that she would not be able to revive a farm.
Welile is part of the 2019 SAB Urban Agriculture Programme, and hopes to become a better farmer and learn from other, more experienced farmers.
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 and sustainable businesses.
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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