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South Africa: Hydroponic cucumber project grows from garden to enterprise

“When customers buy our products at grocery stores, it empowers us and creates hope for everyone involved with the enterprise. It shows that there will be a continued market for us.”

These are the proud words of Edwin Mabotsa, the leader of the Windsorton-based Tshwaraganang Hydroponics Cooperative.

This farming project has been supplying English cucumbers to one of South Africa’s biggest retailers, the Shoprite Group, for the past ten years.

Tshwaraganang, through its greenhouse hydroponics, has proven its ability to change lives in terms of job creation and sustainability.

The initiative was started in 1999 in the semi-rural Windsorton to combat the high unemployment rate in the area.

The project started small, as the operation of a vegetable garden. 

At this stage, the project has three greenhouses of about 3 600 m².

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