Cultura Fresh has success with hydroponics (Western Cape)
The Franschoeker reports on farm near Klapmuts, WC, Cultura Fresh, that has the capacity to grow 1 500 000 heads of Iceberg lettuce annually. Demand has exceeded production and Cultura Fresh reached an Outgrower Agreement with an adjoining farm. It is a BEE farm with which they transfer technical know-how, guarantee 100% uptake of production and do the marketing for, allowing the farm to concentrate on cultivation and the training of the young farmer. Cultura Fresh is keen to offer other established or new farmers advice, support and uptake agreements.
The up-side of these hydroponically-cultivated lettuces is that they are healthy, require very few chemicals, have a comparatively small footprint and use less than 10% of the water per head that is needed for open-land farming. It is a proven economical and effective process which is especially important during droughts.
Dr Henrich (founder) says, “Experience shows that the market for lettuce and vegetables is substantially larger than anticipated – locally and in neighbouring countries. Hence there is space and incentive for new or established farming communities to join hands with Cultura Fresh.”