Growing food more than just a job - drought-hit farmer

2015-11-05 10:36
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban - Growing crops is not just a job. It requires passion, love and care.

This is the belief of Pietermaritzburg vegetable farmer, 64-year-old Hlaleleni Louisa Buthelezi.

Buthelezi is one of thousands of farmers countrywide struggling to maintain her business due to natural and financial challenges.

With KwaZulu-Natal in the grip of drought, Buthelezi said her hydroponic farming technique is in jeopardy.

"We try our best to save as much water as we can. It is vital for us to ensure we get good crops that are high quality."

Freshness of farm life

Buthelezi, who grew up in a farming community in the rural KwaZulu-Natal town of Bulwer, said her formative years made her a stickler for high-quality products.

"I always worked - be it foraging for wood in the forest or gardening to provide meals for my family. I remember very clearly the cleanliness and freshness of farm life.

"I was always helping out wherever I could. Back then going into the forest was normal to find wood or other natural resources to help me provide for my family."

Buthelezi said learning how to grow vegetables happened spontaneously.

"It wasn’t something that I just learnt one day. No one really taught me. It just happened. I watched people and I discovered my own way of doing things."

Now, said Buthelezi, modern farming has become a far greater challenge.

"We have fallen on hard times because water is vital to my farm. Life has become harder for me now. This drought has made hydroponic growth very hard and we are not receiving much assistance from the government."

Helping create tomorrow’s farmers

Buthelezi runs a vegetable farm in Pietermaritzburg that employs more than 20 including young people whom she is mentoring.

She has also started a development programme at the Fundokhule Secondary School.

The spunky entrepeneur said she now hopes to further her business and make inroads internationally.

"If I can get a major supermarket contract or send our goods overseas, I would be very happy. I want people all over to know that we have a great agricultural life in our country.

"These are tough times, but I think farming and farmers should be helped more. No water will mean no food. We must be helped so we can keep feeding our country."

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  weather  |  drought  |  natural disasters  |  agriculture

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.