The tourism and agriculture sectors are coming together to ensure innovation and job creation.
Agritourism is when farmers turn their land into a destination and open their doors to the public to teach them more about what they do.
This practice is becoming increasingly successful, especially in rural KwaZulu-Natal, where South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) has launched agricultural tours to support female farmers and tour operators.
“Agritourism unlocks economic potential in rural areas by providing visitors with a unique, behind-the-scenes experience of farming and creating much-needed jobs,” says SCTIE Chief Executive Officer Phelisa Mangcu.
Ubumbano in Amandawe is one of the benefitting farms. Sisters Nelly and Nolwazi Zama co-founded their agricultural cooperative in 2017 as a mixed farming venture, producing choice-grade crops.
“We have sugar cane, seasonal vegetables, macadamia nuts and bananas. Our offering is different as we also make products from some of our produce, including chilli jam, which is now stocked in Fifi Fish Shop, one of the South Coast’s gems,” says Nolwazi.
Nelly says that while the area is already a tourist attraction, the addition of agritourism is an added drawcard.
Ubumbano Farm now offers tours of the farm, teaches visitors about its techniques and lets them taste its fresh produce.
Located in Southport, BBS Farm – which is named after its three female founders – Busisiwe Lubanya, Silindile Zondi and Bongi Lushaba – is another SCTIE beneficiary.
The farm produces green peppers, bananas, tomatoes and macadamia nuts.
After securing land from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and a loan from Ithala Bank, the trio erected farming tunnels and identified uncommon produce to farm. By doing this, they created a niche market.
“The idea was to create more market demand. We started with heritage tomatoes, which come in a variety of red, green, yellow, orange and maroon, and we packaged them differently by mixing in cherry tomatoes. People were very keen on this,” says Lubanya.
BBS Farm now offers tours of its organically grown produce, hydroponic system and macadamias. It also offers fishing at its dam and great food.
For more information about the farm tours, contact Ubumbano at 071 556 2596 and BBS at 079 568 1815. For information about assistance from SCTIE, call 039 682 7944 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.