Amos Mathebula from Morgenzon, Mpumalanga left the bright lights of the entertainment industry to turn family land into a food garden and business venture. The lack of food security in Mathebula’s community as well as his entrepreneurial ambitions motivated him to start the Too Fresh Produce Cooperative.
The Shoprite Group joined forces with Amos and his cooperative in 2019. “We’ve received so much support from Shoprite so far, from tools, to seedlings, trees, fertiliser and netting to protect crops,” says Mathebula.
Shoprite’s support of the Too Fresh Produce Cooperative includes a series of permaculture training workshops, and Mathebula says this has been especially helpful. “What I enjoy most about organic farming is that it is affordable, and you have the same results, if not better, than with chemicals.”
“There are only a few places in town nearby that supply vegetables,” he continues. “In March this year we supplied one of the local shops with green peppers and jalapenos and we’ve now come to an agreement that we’ll sell spinach to them in September.”
Mathebula already has plans in place to expand his agricultural business. “I’d like to triple my production, so I am busy redesigning the food garden. The more crops we can yield, the more profits we can make. I am convinced that if you want to start something, you just have to get started. You can read all the books you want, but if you haven’t taken the steps you haven’t done anything. The best thing to do is to take a step towards what you want, the knowledge and confidence will come.”
“I adopted this land from my late grandfather who used to farm maize, and my grandfather is actually smiling wherever he is. Two weeks ago, we received a signage board from Shoprite and that’s inspirational. I like to think that I am bringing a change and motivation to those who haven’t considered agriculture. I hope that there are more young people who will follow in my footsteps.”
Through its support of more than 136 community food gardens, and 1 114 home-based gardens, across South Africa’s 9 provinces, the Shoprite Group fosters long-term food security and generates livelihood opportunities.
The Shoprite Group has a robust programme in place to address the food security challenges faced by so many people across the continent on a daily basis. Through its support of more than 135 community food gardens, and 1 114 home-based gardens, the Group fosters long-term food security and generates livelihood opportunities.