Thirty young farmers from the Makhado municipal area were trained in hydroponic agriculture. Sitting on a chair in the middle is Calvin Nembidzane, the managing director of BLC Academy. Photo: Bernard Chiguvare.
“The trend of the fourth industrial revolution is to save water,” said Calvin Nembidzane, the managing director of BLC Academy at a certificate-awarding ceremony held at Mount Azimbo Lodge on Friday, 2 December.
Thirty young farmers from the Makhado municipal area were trained for five days in hydroponic agriculture. Hydroponics is a process whereby plants are grown in sand, gravel, or liquid, with added nutrients but without soil.
According to Nembidzane, this system is different from irrigation in that the water does not go to waste or evaporate, but circulates through the system until the plant is fully grown.
Since last year, the academy has trained about 15 groups in hydroponic farming. “Many young farmers are benefiting from this system because it is quick, easy to use, less costly, and highly productive,” said Nembidzane.
Limpopo Mirror spoke to some of the graduates who received certificates after their training.
Daniel Raphunga (30) from Kutama is already into horticulture and feels that this system will be beneficial to him, as he will be able to produce continually throughout the year. “As I gain more and more experience in using the system, I would like to be a reliable supplier of vegetables and tomatoes in my area,” he said.
Clementine Ramutshila from Ravele village is already into small-scale farming too and is confident that she will benefit from this system. “At the moment, I am farming from home but only on a small scale. I grow chilies and vegetables. I am sure this system of farming will allow me to produce throughout the whole year.”
On the last day of the training session, the National Youth Development Agency, Small Enterprise Development Agency, and SAKATA (a company that is mainly into the production and sale of horticultural products) shared some information on how to run a co-operative and to select the best seed.
Date:12 December 2021 - By: Bernard Chiguvare
Bernard Chiguvare is a Zimbabwean-born journalist. He writes mainly for the online publication, Groundup.