The future of farming
Farmers face a constant problem: getting good quality plant material from which to grow their crops. Young plants are vulnerable, and disease can spread like wildfire, ruining an entire crop before it has even begun to grow.
Professional nurseries can help. They take seeds or cuttings and grow them into healthy plantlets that farmers can use to produce the crops we all need.
More and more farmers and growers are turning to advanced tissue-culture laboratories to source their plantlets. These laboratories use the latest technology to produce plants that are disease free and carefully suited to their growing environment. Tissue-culture is not genetic engineering; the plantlets are grown naturally, but in sterilised and controlled conditions.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:
1. The lab starts with a few specimens of the best varieties of a crop. For example, Dube AgriLab has a partnership with the South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) to produce NovaCane©, top-performing varieties of sugarcane. Specific varieties are selected to be produced through tissue culture, to suit the individual farmer’s growing conditions.
2. From these few specimens, the lab can grow hundreds of individual plants, produced in sterile conditions to avoid any contamination. Dube AgriLab, at full capacity, can produce more than 3 million plantlets a year!
3. Next the plants are “hardened” to make sure that they can withstand the harsh environment outside the lab. This means that the plants are robust enough to go out to farmers and growers, but are still disease and contaminant free.
4. Finally, the hardened plants are shipped out to farmers throughout the country and beyond.
The benefits of tissue-culture production go beyond having disease-free crops. Dube AgriLab has solar panels to reduce fossil-fuel dependence, and uses ebb-and-flow benches to reduce water and fertiliser consumption, making it environmentally friendly. Not only that, but its proximity to King Shaka International Airport and Dube Cargo Terminal lets it service farmers and growers throughout the country and internationally.
For more information, visit agrizone.dubetradeport.co.za/Dube-AgriLab
IsiFundazwe saKwaZulu-Natal sibhekene nobunzima bokushodelwa ngaManzi, ngenxa yesomiso. Lesisomiso esibhekene naso saqale ngo-Ncwaba kunyaka odlule. Imithelela yaso kubalwa kuyo ukusha kwemimfula nokubhubha kwemfuyo.
Kubalulekile ukuthi njengezakhamuzi kanye nezimboni siqale ukonga amanzi, siwasebenzise ngobuhlakani, ukuze sigcine lawa amancanyana asele emadamini esiwasebenzisela ukuphuza, ukupheka nokugeza. Eminye yemithelela ngesikhathi sesomiso, ukuncipha kokudla okukhiqizwayo njengoba izitshalo zingakwazi ukukhula ngenxa yokushoda kwezikhuthazi ezizithola ngamanzi nokuqina komuhlabathi. Ukuzabalaza kwezithelo nokusha kwemimfula sekube ngumthethela omkhulu wokubhubha kwemfuyo kulesiFundazwe.
Ezinye zezindlela zokuthola amanzi ngaphandle kwamanzi atholakala emadamini, kubalwa ukumbiwa kwamapitsi (noma yibhobe) noku gcinwa kwamanzi emvula. Kuyabiza ukumba ipitsi futhi imishini esetshenziswayoikhethekile. Uma ufisa ukuba nepitsi kuyomele uthintane ne-hydrogeologist kanyenomNyango waManzi neNhlazeko okuyibona abanegunya lokuthi banqume futhi bagunyaze ukuthi umgodi ungakhiwa kanjani ngendlela engeke ikubizi kakhulu, futhi engaphazamisi imvelo.
IDube TradePort inohlelo ekuthiwa iWater Demand Management and Conservation Plan (WDM&CP). Isisekelo saloluhlelo ukuthi iDube TradePort isebenzise amanzi ngendlela engcono ngoba iqoqa amanzi emvula iphinde ihlanze amanzi angcolile bese iwasebenzisa kabusha ukuthelela izingadi, ezindlini zangasese, kanye nokufeza ezinye izidingo zezimboni ezikhona eDube TradePort. Okunye okuwumphumela omuhle waloluhlelo ukuth lunikeza ngezinkomba zokusebenziswa kwamanzi ukuze zonke izinhlelo zentuthuko nezimboni ezakhiwa eDube TradePort zibuke isimo samanzi ezinhlelweni zazo.
Ngalokho, ziningi izindlela nathi esingazisebenzisa ukonga amanzi ukuze singahlukumezeki kakhulu ngesikhathi sesomiso. Singanciphisa indlela esiwasebenzisa ngayo amanzi ngokuthi siziqoqele amanzi emvula esingawasebenzisa ukuthi sichelele izingadi negceke. Singaqiniseka ukuthi ompompi bavaleka kahle futhi umasiwasha izimoto sisebenzise amabhakede kunokuthi sisebenzise ipayipi lamanzi.
Lebombo Finepack: Making the Most of
KZN’s Fresh Produce
As consumers, we are used to being able to walk into a store and conveniently select fresh produce off the shelf, without thinking about how the fruit and vegetables we enjoy got from the farm to the shelves. Lebombo Finepack is one of the companies that make this possible.
Lebombo Finepack is a subsidiary of Lebombo Growers, a company with a presence in both the Western Cape and Mpumalanga. Their recent expansion to Dube TradePort is an exciting new opportunity to explore the KZN market.
“It’s all about relationships,” says Allister McFarlane, General Manager of Lebombo Cape. “We build relationships with farmers, and they know that they will get a good and fair price from us, without having to negotiate with the retailers themselves. We also build relationships with the retailers, who know they can rely on us to supply them with the top-end produce they want, packaged to the specifications they need.”
Lebombo does a lot more than simply move produce from one place to another. Because they are developing a national presence, they are able to source fruit and vegetables from different regions and extend the growing season. For example – due to differences in climate and geography – fruit may be out of season in Mpumalanga, but still in season in KwaZulu-Natal. Lebombo is able to get crops from different areas to keep supplying the market for as long as possible.
“KwaZulu-Natal is a new market for us, but Dube TradePort is making the transition much easier,” says McFarlane. “Logistically, we’re in the best possible position: no matter which way you go you have major transport routes. We’re close to the airport, the seaports, and the road network is improving all the time. We’re also in an agricultural hub at Dube AgriZone, and the benefits of uninterrupted power, great security for our workers and our stock, waste disposal and recycling, and so on, make it much easier for us to get a recognised accreditation, which is very important.”
According to McFarlane, one of the greatest costs to producers is moving their produce around the country, especially in smaller quantities. “If you aren’t moving a full truck load, the cost sky-rockets. We are in a position to consolidate different products, to minimise wastage and keep costs under control.”
Lebombo Finepack is an example of how logistics, producers, and retailers can work together to build South Africa’s fresh food supply chain. “It’s all about making everyone’s lives better: less risk for suppliers, better produce for consumers.”
For more information on the work done within Dube AgriZone, visit agrizone.dubetradeport.co.za
Click on a coloured block for more info
A MODEL FOR AFRICA’S FOOD SECURITY
Dube AgriZone is focused on growing the agricultural perishables sector in KwaZulu-Natal and has been able to create a progressive model that could ensure food security for South Africa.
The advantage of Dube AgriZone, as the first fully-integrated perishables supply chain in Africa, is the way it utilises limited growing area and resources for the production of high volumes of quality produce, implementing an extensive water recycling programme using rainwater harvesting and boreholes to ensure sustainability.
Mr Tobias Takavarasha, the South African representative and chairperson of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has recognised Dube AgriZone as a possible model for securing Africa’s food security. “There is plenty we can learn from this facility,” he said. “Perhaps one of the more important lessons is on forming partnerships and alliances. We need to adopt and adapt technologies to the local situation, and scale them upwards and outwards to achieve even better results.”
Dube TradePort’s food security initiative begins with Corporate Social Investment (CSI). It started with food garden projects in local schools, but has grown to include an investment of over R350 000 towards the supply and installation of an irrigation system that includes pumps, storage tanks and piping for subsistence farmers based in the Waterloo community, north of Durban.
As Mr Solomon Nkosi, Dube TradePort’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Project Leader remarks, “the real scope of this development continues to grow. We continue to form new partnerships with our neighbouring communities, instilling within them the notion of self-sustainability and empowering them with mechanisms that will ensure that they have food security.”
Mr Nkosi continues: “Dube TradePort is marshalling its resources to ensure food security within local communities in the vicinity of our precinct. We also support local farmers by hosting a farmers’ market in Dube City. We are making a real effort to contribute to the eradication of hunger in our lifetime.
Sigqugquzela Imvelo Yomdabu Ngohlelo Lwezihlahla
IDube TradePort inohlelo lweCorporate Social Investment (CSI) oluligxile kakhulu ekunakekelweni kwemvelo kuloluhlelo iDube TradePort ikhuthaza ukutshalwa kwezihlahla zemvelo emiphakathini esemaphethelweni nesizinda se Dube TradePort.
Ngaloluhlelo iDube TradePort iyakhuthaza iphinde ifundise imiphikathi ngokubaluleka koku nakekela imvelo ukuze siqinisekise ukuthi sitshala izithombo ezingadingi ukuchelelwa ukuzezihlume kahle. Lokhu kungenxa yokuthi lezizitshalo zivumelana nendawo. Izitshalo zemvelo zisiza kakhulu ngokuhlanza umoya namanzi, ziphinde ziphephise umhlabathi makuba nemimoya.
Izikole zasendaweni sezizuze kakhulu ngaloluhlelo lokutshalwa kwezihlahla zemvelo, ngoba zibuyisele imvelo esimeni esifanelekile emagcekeni ezikole, zidala nethunzi uma abafundi bethatha ikhefu lasemini. Lezizihlahla ziphinde zinike othisha ithuba lokufundisa ngokubaluleka kwemvelo kubafundi, okuyinto ezoshintsha indlela ababheka ngayo nezemvelow. Othisha nhloko bezinye zezikole ezihlomulile kuloluhlelo bathi kuba lula ukufundisa izingane ngokubaluleka kokunakekela imvelo kanye nendima edlalwa izihlahla ezimpilweni zethu mawukhuluma ngento oyibonayo nawe, kanti iphinde isize nezingane ukuthi zazi ngezihlahla zezwelazo.
Izitshalo ezikwazi ukumelana ne somiso.
Njengoba sinesomiso kubalulekile ukhuti sitshale izihlahla ezingadingi amanzi amaningi ukuze zihlume.
Nalu uhlu lwezitshalo zemvelo ezikwaziyo ukumelana ne somiso:
• Utshwala bezinyoni
Ezinye zezindlela ezilula zoku bona izitshalo zendabuko ezikwazi ukumelana ne somiso ukubheka amahlamvu aso leso sitshalo, uma zinamahlamvu amancane, noma aneziboya ezincane kuwona, noma lawomahlamvu ekwazi ukufingqeka ngesinye isikhathi, lesositshalo kungahle sikwazi ukuhluma noma kuyisomiso.