As a way of stimulating local economic activity, a small agricultural co-operative, owned by six young emerging farmers, is receiving business development mentorship and funding aimed at establishing a more sustainable entity.
After originally setting up their co-op up to develop crops, Riverfresh Crop Primary Co-Op has since been able to successfully shift its focus to livestock farming. Through the support from Droogfontein Solar Power, which has included the purchase of six cows and six calves, Riverfresh has plans to grow its livestock to be able to contribute to the local meat market.
“Droogfontein Solar Power’s commitment and interest in our co-op has been invaluable in realising our ambitions for the future. We’d like to encourage the solar plant to continue the meaningful work they are doing in our community, by supporting other youth structures, like ours, across all business models,” said Moeti Mamapula, one of the members of Riverfresh Crop Primary Co-Op.
The support of this co-op forms part of a collaborative enterprise development programme, which invests in youth-owned enterprises in the Northern Cape. This is achieved by the solar plant, in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation, Small Enterprise Finance Agency, and National Youth Development Agency, and is providing this co-op with development funding and business mentorship, amongst other assistance.
“This programme was borne out of the recognition that there is a need for a collaborative approach to assisting local entrepreneurs in the Kimberley and surrounding areas hence the collaboration with the above mentioned agencies. As beneficiaries of this programme, we hope to see this group of passionate young people, who are inspired by and committed to agriculture, develop a sustainable business that can grow, thrive, and employ more local people,” concluded Zuki Ndlela, Economic Development Specialist for Droogfontein Solar Power.