BBL PARTICIPANT: Grace Moropyane, Mamphogo, Limpopo Province
In a Nutshell
Through her participation in SocioTech’s Broad-Based Livelihoods (BBL) strategies to stimulate personal economic activity, Grace Moropyane from Mamphogo, Limpopo has never farmed before, and was inspired by the production and income she achieved in a short while. Her plans for expansion were cut short by failing water supply system. She is desperate for a solution so that she can continue farming.
I did the SocioTech BBL MyFood training in 2019. I had not done any food gardening before (not even as a child with my parents) so it was all new to me. I learnt all about trenching and how you must create good soil with cans and bones and then mulching and so forth. I really enjoyed the training, and I could see that growing food for my family and then selling surplus was a good plan.
When I received the training, I was very eager to start right away. I believe the Phinda-Phinda model of training other people works very well, and I have taught at least 10 other people about what I learnt at the SocioTech training.
I grow spinach, butternut, beetroot, carrots, and cabbage in my garden. Some people say that they can taste the difference between home grown and shop bought. Honestly, I can’t tell the difference, but I do understand the difference to my pocket – If I went by taxi to Marble Hall to buy vegetables in a supermarket, it would cost me R20 each way. So, that is a R40 round trip. Just for vegetables. It is better to grow them at home and save the money.
"....no water means no expansion into larger scale farming."
When I did the training, my hope was that I could produce for myself and create surplus to sell. I wanted to start small but gradually expand my land under cultivation and go into business. In my mind that would be good for me but also good for my community.
Sadly, that has not been possible. This community has been without water for almost 4 years now. We have to buy water at R50 per drum. It is not possible to farm without water. We get told different stories about what has happened to the water. Some say the dams have no water in them. Others say the pipes are blocked. I don’t know what to believe. All I know is that no water means no expansion into larger scale farming.
It is so frustrating because I have land and I have goats, so I have manure. All I need is water…