Growing a business, organically
Nkomanota Organic Farmers Agricultural Cooperative, registered in 2005, is an initiative of 16 farmers in the greater Tzaneen Local Municipality. It controls 1221 hectares of Agricultural Land.
Nkomanota has been mentored in organic farming methods by PUM Netherlands Senior Experts as well as BCS OKO-GARANTIE GMBH, who also helped Nkomanota pass inspections for organic certification in 2008 and 2010, which enabled them to obtain a standing growers’ agreement with Woolworths.
In terms of Seda’s assistance, this has involved the formation of a stakeholder forum to construct a Pack house for all struggling commercial farmers in the area, funding for developing a business plan, cooperative training, quality management systems, design and development of marketing tools such as websites and assistance with the Co-operative Incentives Scheme.
Seda has also facilitated a grant by LIBSA to purchase a compost plant and provided extra funding to the cooperative to acquire Irrigation Drip Pipes, shared amongst member farmers. The cooperative has managed to create 60 employment opportunities for the surrounding communities.