Nuzuko lives in a township in South Africa’s Western Cape. Two years ago she was a student at Green Futures, a horticultural college based on a nature reserve. As one of 12 students she learnt basic horticultural skills, landscaping with indigenous plants, conservation, eco-tourism and other life skills such as AIDS/HIV awareness.
She was paid a subsistence wage so that she could look after her young family. With fellow students she grew plants and seeds to help the college fund their courses.
She now has a piece of land in a township area. It’s on some school land so she looks after their grounds in return. With the help of Green Futures she has set up an area to grow plants for seed for Traidcraft.
The aim is to find other opportunities like these for ex-students and bring work to townships- and an improved environment for their inhabitants.
Chris and the team at SeedsAplenty grow bulbs and seeds. They live in an area of outstanding bio-diversity – Nieuwoudtville in the Northern Cape - but it’s a remote and very poor area, with high unemployment.
Originally this project was set up to produce bulbs for export to Holland – so there is land and a building. However the management of the project was poor, and benefits very limited, so four workers have now negotiated a parallel organisation to use the facilities and some of the land. SeedsAplenty was registered only a few months ago.
In their first year both producers have struggled with difficult weather conditions, with late and very strong wind either damaging plants or dispersing seeds before they can be collected. Traidcraft is providing assistance for the future – funding windbreaks for SeedsAplenty and Nuzuko.