17 June 2018

Strength and perseverance are the qualities Wadea Jappie credits for the success of her farm in Philippi, Cape Town.

Wadea and her family have been supplying fresh produce to the Shoprite Group for the past nine years. Initially she only supplied 20 - 30 bunches of dhanya three times week. These days she supplies 800 - 900 bunches per day and in the last financial year, she delivered a staggering three tons of produce. Her chickens’ eggs are also on sale at the Group’s supermarkets.

Entrepreneurship runs in her blood. Her father (as well as her husband) owned a construction company, while she credits her grandfather as the one from whom she inherited her passion for farming. Hers is a family business with sons Nabeel and Taufeeq taking responsibility for vegetable and egg production respectively. Wadea is responsible for administration, financing and marketing.

Originally from Lotus River, Wadea and her family moved to Philippi because she wanted her children to be able to safely play outside. At first she supplied dhanya to local butchers and at markets. Her chicken eggs she initially sold to family and friends. Then a buyer asked Wadea to plant chillies, but subsequently pulled out and that’s when she contacted Shoprite.

Wadea also had the good fortune of being mentored by another farmer in the area - Johan Terblanche. He would transport her vegetables on his bakkie in addition to helping her learn more about agriculture. And every year Wadea was able to increase her supply to Shoprite.

“Farming started out as hobby for me, but now it’s my business. In fact it’s become my family’s business as my husband helps on the farm too. He calls a meeting every Sunday morning with my sons, where we discuss our work and plan for the week ahead.”

“Farming is tough, but I believe there’s still money to be made from it. Furthermore, when you own the business you work so much harder. You can’t separate family life from your work life.”