SUSTAINABLE FARMING FOR LOCAL CO-OP
An emerging cattle farmers’ co-op, in the Theewaterskloof Municipality, is receiving funding and business support from Klipheuwel Wind Farm to help the group improve the standard of the herd, which will drive income for the co-op to become more sustainable and thereby stimulate local job creation.
Gougakhoi Stock and Crop Co-op, in the Riviersondered area, started in 2011, with the hope of breeding cattle for market, reared on land leased from the local municipality. Farmer Vernon Hendricks, Co-Op Board Secretary, explains that the funding will provide fencing and other needed infrastructure as well as provide business training over the next period, to help sustain growth.
“Our dilapidated fencing, which has allowed our cattle to break out and cause trouble as well as be a danger to road-users, can now be replaced,” he said.
This is the third agricultural project that Klipheuwel Wind Farm is funding, as it is at the heart of its enterprise development programme. It is committed to support sustainable local developments in the wind farm’s surrounding communities who require assistance to increase their chances of success. To this end, the wind farm has identified agriculture as one of the sectors that can drive the development within Theewaterskloof communities, whilst helping to contribute towards food security in the surrounds.
“With the right support and mentoring, emerging farmers of outlying communities such as the Gougakhoi Co-op, can grow, create jobs and benefit community members through local employment,” explained Hlengiwe Radebe, Economic Development Director for Klipheuwel Wind Farm.
The farmers are currently rearing a mix breed of Hereford and Jersey cattle, but their plan is to improve their beef production by introducing Nguni cattle, known for hardiness, resistance to disease and adverse weather conditions and to cross another breed to improve the meat quality and other important traits.
The Klipheuwel Wind Farm’s enterprise development programme looks to empower small enterprises, within the Theewaterskloof Municipality’s communities of Botriver, Tesselaarsdal, Riversonderend, Greyton, Genadendal, Villiersdorp, Grabouw, Caledon, Hermanus and Kleinmond.