History

Berekisanang Empowerment Farm (Pty) Ltd (“Berekisanang”) is a joint venture between the ACG Fruit Group (Galactic Deals), the IDC and The Berekisanang Farmworkers Trust. The broad intention of the project is to broaden the agricultural base of the Northern Cape area, to create a large number of sustainable jobs and to empower the local farm workers.

The farm is a development from scratch of a large citrus and table grape farming enterprise. The planning for this project began in 2009 and currently, the development is well underway with 200ha of citrus planted and 130ha of Table grapes planted. Netting is being constructed on the last 30ha of table grapes with 100ha completely covered. The ground works have commenced for phase 4 Table Grapes. Land is being ripped up to 1m deep, with soil correction via precision farming methods and land leveling. The final Phase 4 will be planted by the end of August 2016. All the necessary planning, permissions and approvals have been received and the funding for the project is in place.
A government grant was approved by the Department of Human Settlements Farm Worker housing settlement program. The program provides capital subsidies for the development and engineering services of adequate houses for farm workers. The housing settlement is also phased over 4 years.

Initially the plan was for the farm to mainly be a citrus operation but the planting profile has evolved to be 50% citrus and 50% table grape. The advantages to this split are as follows:

  • Earlier income generation from table grapes (matures +/- 3 years earlier than citrus)
  • Two seasons resulting in optimal efficiencies on labour and infrastructure
  • Table grape export prices from the early season producing Northern Cape region have been excellent in recent years.
  • Greater job creation (table grape farming is more labour intensive)

Planting of the first citrus took place in 2012 and planting of the first grapes in 2013.

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