UKZN Entrepreneurs Venture to Hydroponic Farming
The University of KwaZulu-Natal ENSPIRE programme is proud to introduce another ground-breaking and innovative project that is set to make a difference in the lives of South Africans. The ENSPIRE programme is a UKZN InQubate instigated developmental programme, whose aim is to support entrepreneurial ideas and skills, personal growth and most importantly to solve the socio-economic issues faced by South Africa, which include unemployment and poor nutrition.
UKZN students Mongezi Dlamini and Sihlosokuhle Mfeka founded the Anonaya Gardens (PTY) Ltd, a garden that uses the Hydroponic system to grow crops. A hydroponic system is a method of growing crops in water-based and nutrient-rich solution.
One of the reasons that these young entrepreneurs ventured into this type of farming is that it uses less water, something which is important when considering water scarcity and droughts experienced in South Africa in recent months.
According to Dlamini and Mfeka, this type of system uses 80 % less water compared to growing crops on soil. They also like the fact that this method of farming does not involve any use of chemicals as these may have a negative effect on the environment, the crops and also on humans who consume these crops. This type of farming guarantees that regardless of the season, there will always be crops to be harvested to ensure food security in South Africa.
According to these entrepreneurs, the journey does not end here. They are already looking at upscaling their operation in a bid to continue solving problems faced by the agriculture industry.
Words: Sbusiso Lungani Hlongwa