农民对农业的热情帮助提升了她的社区

Vegetable farmer Mabel Dikobe’s story is a fine example of how equipping small businesses with the resources they require can empower them to support entire communities.

农民对农业的热情帮助提升了她的社区
Mabel Dikobe的农业合作社多年来一直在生产旱地甜豆。她说,这种蔬菜在非正式市场很受欢迎。照片:斯彦达·西舒巴
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Mabel Dikobe produces vegetables and sugar bean on her 1ha farm in Eikenhof, Johannesburg. She also runs a feeding scheme in Alexandra and manages a community upliftment NGO called Mveledzo.

Dikobe, 68, was still at school when she first discovered her passion for agriculture. From a young age she cultivated vegetables in her family’s garden at home. This eventually led her to join the Alexandra Renewal Project in 2005. This project identifies opportunities for agricultural development in the community. That same year, she established Mveledzo, before starting her feeding scheme in 2007.

Four of the five Tshepo Ya Rona Primary Agricultural Co-operative members are (from left): Elen Hlatshwayo, Thulani Phungula, Lilian Kamohi, and Mabel Dikobe.

When the Alexandra Renewal Project first started, it was mainly a waste-management community programme. Dikobe organised campaigns, with the assistance of the Department of Environmental Affairs and the then Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, to clean up parts of the township and turn them into vegetable gardens for the community.

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社区成员还接受了如何维护花园的培训。

During one of the training workshops, an attendee spoke about receiving farmland from government, and Dikobe was curious to find out how this process worked.

找到她的路
在调查期间,Dikobe了解到了南非联合公路公司(UWSA)的城市农业计划(UAP),该计划将低收入城市农民与可持续的经济机会联系起来。她于2012年申请了该项目,一年后,她成为约翰内斯堡地区600名被选中参与该项目的小农之一。

As part of the programme, 50 small-scale farmer co-operatives were given access to 240ha of farmland.

UAP与约翰内斯堡市和社会发展部合作,向拥有商业和技术技能以及进入市场的小农提供支持。通过这样做,它有助于扶贫、粮食安全、创造就业机会和小企业发展。亚博777娱乐主页

In 2016, through the UAP, farming tunnels were erected for the participants, and by 2018 Dikobe was managing three on her own.

然而,该方案主要侧重于支持农民合作社,由于Dikobe当时是自己耕种,她成立了一个名为Tshepo Ya Rona初级农业合作社(Tshepo Ya Rona)的合作社,以便继续作为UAP的参与者。

Tshepo Ya Rona的其他四名成员是Lilian Kamohi、Elen Hlatshwayo、Thulani Phungula和Nonhlanhla Nyembe。他们都曾参加过其他合作社,但都没有成功,他们都渴望继续耕种。

Getting started
“当我们第一次到达陆地时,有一些岩石我们不得不自己搬走,”Dikobe回忆道水资源也非常有限;我们都必须依靠一个从一个钻孔里装满的水罐来供给,所以我们种植了玉米和糖豆等旱地作物。

“农场好的粘土土壤和农民occupied the land before our co-operative had grown turf. The dryland crops did well on the land and they weren’t very labour-intensive. We just had to make sure that we rotated the crops after every harvest. We also had to remove weeds manually through hand hoeing.”

When the farming tunnels were erected on part of the land, additional water tanks were installed and the tunnels were fitted with sprinkler irrigation systems.

随着获得更多的水和灌溉基础设施,Tshepo Ya Rona合作社成员开始使用UAP合作伙伴提供的种子种植西红柿、辣椒、菠菜、辣椒和黄瓜等作物。

自从加入UAP以来,Dikobe就直接从她的农场向非正规贸易商出售新鲜农产品。她还参与了供应链的一部分,负责将新鲜农产品配送到位于Protea Glen、Protea North和Southgate的Pick n Pay商店,并为Alexandra的四所幼儿园供应新鲜蔬菜。

糖豆
Dikobe says that sugar bean has become popular on the informal market due to its high protein content.

为了充分利用这一需求,Tshepo Ya Rona继续种植作物,Dikobe和她的农民伙伴们已经吸取了许多经验教训,帮助他们获得更好、更稳定的产量。

她说:“对于糖豆来说,你必须确定你的种植日期。”。

“我们在12月或第一场雨后的1月初播种,让水在播种前至少浸泡一周。以前我们从11月份开始播种,但因为我们知道雨水往往只会在12月份到来,所以我们调整了播种日期。”

糖豆, she says, requires a deep, level and firm seedbed, as this ensures better surface contact between seed and soil, which subsequently increases moisture absorption.

一个水平的苗床也有利于种植到一个统一的深度。

The seeds are planted between 2,5cm and 5cm below the soil surface, with an inter-row spacing of 90cm to facilitate manual harvesting.

教孩子们种田
神户有四个孩子和九个孙子。她的小女儿Nthabiseng很想追随母亲的脚步,也成为一名农民。Nthabiseng在2020年在比勒陀利亚买了一个农场,Dikobe每周至少去那里帮助她一次。在学校放假期间,Dikobe带着她的孙子们去了她在Eikenhof的农场,因为她想从小教他们农业知识。

来自亚历山德拉的200名儿童受益于Dikobe的非政府组织管理的Mveledzo孤儿和弱势儿童项目,他们还被教导如何种植自己的食物。他们被带到社区花园学习种植各种作物。

“现在参加蔬菜种植的学校太少了,真让人难过。这一点需要重新认识,这样孩子们才能更好地理解食物和农业的重要性。

致电083 544 7611联系Mabel Dikobe。

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