17 May 2021
With a passion for tackling unemployment in his community, Xolani Siwa and five other community members formed the Lim’uphile Agricultural Cooperative in Walmer, Port Elizabeth, around eight years ago.
After seeing Xolani’s dedication to encourage others to take up farming, Checkers started supporting the organisation in 2019 by investing in a water tank as well as providing planting materials (including mulch, seedlings, herbs, compost and fruit trees) and gardening tools (such as wheelbarrows, spades, watering cans, hand forks and rakes).
Checkers also ensured that the members of the Lim’uphile Agricultural Cooperative received 18 months of intensive permaculture training about organic farming methods, weed and pest control, water conservation and harvesting.
Today Lim’uphile grows and sells iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, brinjals, spinach, rosemary, chillies and spring onions to the local community in order to generate an income for the organisation’s members.
As part of Xolani’s goal to uplift his community, the Lim’uphile Agricultural Cooperative teaches young people about home gardening and organic farming practises.
“With support from Checkers, we are now planning to clear more land. We want to grow so we can help other community members. We would really like to encourage our youth to take up food gardening.”
- Xolani Siwa, Lim’uphile Agricultural Cooperative
“I always tell people that you don’t need a massive land. You can plant in a box or a tyre. You can use anything and change your own life,” says Xolani.
The Shoprite Group has been encouraging food security at community level, through its support of community food gardens, since 2015. To date, the Group has partnered with more than 135 community food gardens, as well as 1 114 home-based gardens, across the country’s 9 provinces.