Building a profitable business

How to build a successful and profitable business.

Successful Lettuce Farming

                                                                                   

Lactuca sativa, commonly known as lettuce, is a member of the Asterateae family, grown as a leaf vegetable. The origins of lettuce can be traced to the Mediterranean basin from where it spread to the rest of the world. It has been cultivated as a food source for thousands of years and is popular as a salad ingredient all over the world.

Lettuce is grouped into four classes namely:

1. Crisphead or Iceberg Lettuce

This type is widely grown in the country and it is characterized by firm heads and crisp, curly leaves. The outer leaves are dark green, while the inner ones are pale and lack chlorophyll.

2. Butterhead Lettuce

The butterhead lettuce forms a head that is somehow similar to that of cabbage in shape and has soft, waxy, flexible leaves. It is sensitive to hot weather.

3. Loose – leaf Lettuce

This group does not form heads and is characterized by soft leaves. It grows well both in the open field and under protection and can be shipped over long distances.The cos lettuce has a loose head with narrow soft leaves.  The outer leaves are dark green, coarse and have heavy ribs while the inner is lighter.

Soil Requirements

The plant grows well on a wide variety of soils ranging from light sand to heavy clay, whoever, best results are obtained on fertile loam’s that are rich in organic matter. A pH between 5.5 and 7 is optimum. Lettuce should be grown on soils with a high water – holding capacity and proper drainage for good root growth and plant performance.

                                               

Planting

Lettuce is regularly sown directly in the field to a depth of 10 – 15mm. The seedlings are later thinned out to the desired spacing and they are sometimes used for transplanting. Seedlings for transplanting may also be raised in seed – trays or seedbeds and transplanted about five weeks after sowing.

Irrigation

Lettuce has a shallow root system and as such requires frequent but lighter irrigation’s. The roots penetrate the soil to a depth of only 300mm. Water should be applied throughout the growing period and reduced when the heads become full. A water shortage tends to promote bolting.

Harvesting

Lettuce is harvested by hand by cutting off the plant just above the soil surface to keep most of the outer leaves around the head. Harvesting should be done very early in the morning because lettuce wilts rapidly.

                                                                    

 

 

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Sustainable Timber Farming

                                                                           

” Commercial Forestry” is much like any other farming practice. The crops are considered a renewable resource, used to make sawn timber, pulp, paper, poles, mining timber , matches, charcoal and cellulose – based  products. Specific species of trees are planted, harvested and replanted in sustainable rotation. This ensures that there are trees at various stages of growth and maturity, ready to harvest for generations to come.

Forestry is more than the science of planting, managing and caring for timber plantations. It’s also about looking after the landscape which timber share with other animal and plant species as well as the people and communities that the Foresting and Forest Products Industries touches.

LOGGING

Logging is the process of cutting down and removing trees from the forest. In forestry, the phrase is used to describe log making, which includes cutting the branches off, removing the bark and cutting trees into parts. In some cases, logging may refer to the whole logistical process of felling, processing, removing and transporting trees from the forest to the sawmill.

LOGGING IMPORTANCE

Below are reasons why logging is important:

1. Minimizes competition for resources – Logging is important because it reduces crowding in the forest. Crowded trees must compete for nutrients such as sunlight and water. The younger and shorter trees may not receive the sunlight they need because of the overcrowding of the older trees.

2. Boosts the health of the trees –  Logging can keep trees healthy. When logging, the parts of trees that have diseases are removed and the remaining trees can grow without the threat of any disease.

3. Provides necessary raw materials – Trees are a raw material and is important for our survival. They are useful in making furniture, supply materials for building homes, and are useful for making many everyday items. All of these things require logging.

4. Reduces forest fires – Logging helps to reduce forest fires. If there’s a lightning – triggered fire in a crowded forest, fire will spread rapidly, unlike when the trees have been thinned.

5. Enhances undergrowth – Selective logging is important, as it allows more sunlight and air to reach the forest floor, encouraging the growth of vegetation under larger trees.

Assistance for small – scale timber operations

The timber industry falls under the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Daff), and to assist small – scale timber operations, the department has established the Forestry Enterprise Development (FED) Programme. The aim of the FED programme is to create opportunities for people to utilize forests indigenous forests, woodlands and plantations and forest – based resources for economic growth, income generation/ job creation in a manner that will take people from a subsistence livelihood system into the market economy

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How to start a Kota Business?

                                                                  

 

Almost everyone in South Africa loves a Kota / Bunny Chow. There is a huge demand for this product in South Africa and they are sold at almost every township.

You can operate this kind of business from a shack, container or a professional space depending on Where you want to start and operate your business from. Containers work fine if operating at a township or cbd. You will need operating premises, equipment, some utilities and stock. Equipment that you will need include:

  • Deep Fryer.

  • Potato Chipper.

  • Frying Pans.

  • Fridge and

  • Microwave.

Stock

A traditional Kota usually consists of Bread, Polony, Mangola, Atchar, Vienna, Cheese and Eggs. A modern Kota will also include things like lettuce and bacon amongst others. Decide which ingredients you will use on your Kota menu and buy them from wholesalers at lower prices and not from huge retail stores.

Marketing

You need to make potential customers aware that you are selling Kota products. Set up your Kota business in a visible area and then brand it to attract customers. To attract customers and make your business competitive offer and provide excellent customer service. Ensure you only sell high quality products that your customers will like and come back for more. Word – of – Mouth advertising will work better if customers are satisfied.

Kota business is a profitable venture in South Africa and does not require huge start up capital. The number of Kotas you sell will determine the profitability of your Kota business. Market your business properly and you are sure to get a large share of customers.

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DATES FRUIT FARMING

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Commercial dates farming business is growing day by day. “Phoenix dactylifera” known as date or date palm, is actually a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae. It is cultivated for it’s edible sweet fruit. Dates are the biggest oasis and desert cash crop. They are harvested from the palm trees and dried out in the sun and stored for the wintertime when they supply food for a family and assist herds of camels, goats and sheep.
Date palm is the oldest tree cultivated on earth. They are a excellent source of calcium, sugar, iron and potassium. They are also used in many social and religious festivals. They have many health benefits like relive constipation, reduce heart disease, control diarrhea and help in pregnancy. It is also used for making different products such as chutney, pickles, jam, juice, and other bakery items.

SOIL

It can be cultivated in any soil, don’t have any specific requirement. But for good growth and yield, it required well drained, deep sandy loam soil with a pH in the range of 7-8. Avoid soils having a hard pan up to 2meter below soil layer. Saline and alkaline soils are also suitable for cultivation but yield obtained is low.

PROPAGATION

Propagation of the date palm is done with the help of suckers as propagation with seeds is impractical. Select suckers or offshoots from the mother plant. Suckers are obtained from 4 or 5th year after planting. Ideal weight of suckers should be 15 – 20kg.

DATE CULTIVARS

The most popular variety in South Africa is the “Medjool Date”. Other popular varieties are Barhi, Deglet Noor, Sayer and Zahdi.

GROWTH

It normally take a date palm almost 2 years to be ready to plant out into the field. Another 4 years to produce a reasonable crop and up to 12 years to reach full production of 80kg and more per tree. Production can go on for 100 years but does decline around 50 years.
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CANNABIS & HEMP FARMING

                                                 

HEMP – a low type of  Cannabis sativa with a low level of the cannibinoid THC – is a wind – pollinated, annual broad-leaf plant with a taproot. It is cultivated for its production of long fibers for textiles, hemp seeds for oil and other uses. 

Most of Africa’s climate is favorable to cannabis cultivation. The plant likes warm and sunny weather and does not do so well in the cold. Certain cannabis strains can also thrive in extreme heat. Some growing techniques such as dry farming allows farmers to grow the crop using mostly rainfall with minimal additional watering if the climate conditions are right. Drip irrigation is also a cheap and efficient way to water cannabis crops in Africa.

The cannabis plant grows in stages. First come the initial germination and seeding. Then, the plant enters the vegetative phase and produces most of its leaves and branches. After several weeks, the plant can enter the flowering stage. If the plant is a male plant, it will grow pollen sacks. If it is a female plant, it will produce flowers (buds) that can be smoked or processed into tinctures and oils.

SOIL PREPARATION

Hemp and Cannabis grows best in well – drained loam soil with a pH of between 6 and 7.5 with abundant organic matter – at least 3,5%. Dense, poorly- drained clay soil is not suitable and sandy soil’s need for extra irrigation and fertilization may be uneconomical. Seedbed preparation is important; firm and fine is best in order to plant hemp/cannabis seeds between 203 cm deep. Hemp is sensitive to frost during germination and requires water during the first 6 weeks after planting.

HARVESTING

Harvesting hemp for fibre is easier than harvesting hemp for the hemp seed. To harvest hemp grown for fibre, implements used for the harvesting of forage crops can be used, which perform well without major modifications. A straight sickle mower is the most suitable for harvesting hemp for textile applications. This implement leaves cut stems intact, laid neatly and organized directly on the ground. Haybines do not work well as the long stems wrap on the reel. Cut no shorter than 10cm above the soil surface.

                                          

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Sustainable Tarragon Farming

                                                          

Tarragon belongs to the sunflower family and it is species of the perennial herb. Tarragon is a much – favored culinary herb plant, with leaves have a slight anise flavor. There are mainly two types of Tarragon. The French Tarragon one is more widely available and has a stronger flavor than the Russian variety. The French Tarragon is the more popular variety and should be planted in a place where you can easily manipulate the soil and control the temperature levels and amounts of water it receives.

Tarragon provides fragrant leaves that can be harvested and preserved for cooking year – round. Grow Tarragon in well – drained, sandy loam soil. It will tolerate poor and nearly dry soil. Tarragon does not grow well in cold, wet, or compacted soil. Tarragon plants prefers a soil pH level of 6.0 to 7.3 and it does not grow well in acidic soil.

PROPAGATION

For the French variety, propagation must come from the root division or stem cuttings, as the seeds are sterile  which means they’re not viable for planting. French Tarragon plants don’t propagate by using Tarragon seeds, but rather through stem cuttings or root system division. Usually, the French Tarragon plant can only be grown by propagation or by buying an establish plant.

PLANTING

Remove the soil in an area slightly deeper than the root ball, and twice as wide. Amend the soil with plenty of organic material such as mature compost, worm castings, or well- rotted manure, some liquid – retaining material like perlite or peat moss, and a couple of tablespoons bone meal. Set the root ball in place, fill in the hole, and then cover the crown with the defamed soil, then firm in place. Water gently to settle.

WATERING

Water requirements for your Tarragon will mainly depend on the weather conditions and the maturity of the plant. These plants can cope in dry ground, and care must be taken not to over-water as this will diminish growth and flavor intensity.

It requires 5 to 6 weeks after transplant to harvesting.

                                                 

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Chickpea Farming

                             

Chickpea is one of the field crops which is not grown widely in our country. Unimproved chickpeas are grown as hedge plants in home gardens in few parts of some Provinces such as Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

Planting

Chickpeas are usually grown as winter crops, between late April and May. The proper seeding depth is 2,5 to 5cm. Chickpeas should be sown in moist soils to provide the necessary moisture for proper germination and inoculation.

Soil

The plant requires fertile, sandy-loam soil with good internat drainage and they do not tolerate water – logged conditions. Chickpeas require a soil pH of 6.0 0 7.0. It prefers soil with good residual soil moisture content or storage.

Product Benefits

Chickpeas are high in protein, carbohydrates and fibre, low in fat and cholesterol and are considered one of the earliest cultivated vegetables. They are consumed as a dry pulse crop or  as green vegetables, Chickpeas are added to many dishes to improve their taste, e.g. desert, salads, and soup. When mixed with other pulses, they can also serve as an appetizer.

Harvesting

Chickpeas are typically straight out, meaning they are not swathed before combining. Timing is very important when harvesting chickpeas. An over ripened crop can lead to a decrease in yield while harvesting a crop too young may lead to increased chance of green seed in crop which yields a lower grade.

Watering

Chickpeas can tolerate droughts very well, being the most resistant to shortage of water. The only time there is a greater need for water is when buds form during flowering.

Harvesting

Fortunately, chickpeas ripen uniformly, so it is easy to determine when to chop, given that its pods do not shoot when ripe. Harvesting is done by machines, i.e. adapted grain bean harvesters.

                     

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Bush Bean Farming

                                            

Beans come in one of two types – bush beans and pole beans. Bush Beans differ from pole beans in the fact that bush beans don’t need any kind of support to stay upright. Pole Beans, on the other hand, need a pole or some other support to stay upright. Bush Beans are shorter beans that only grow to about 2 feet in height, while pole beans grow to about 8 – 10 feet in height.

Bush Beans can be further broken down into 3 types:

  1. snap beans – pods are eaten.

  2. green shelling beans – beans are eaten green.

  3. dry beans – beans are dried and then rehydrated before eating.

SOIL

Beans grow best in full sun, planted in well – drained and warm soil. Prepare soil ahead of time. When planting, add a mature or aged compost and this should be all the fertilizer you need if you are starting with a healthy soil. Beans will do best with a soil PH of 5,5 – 5,8. Beans are very sensitive to acidic soils.

PLANTING

Plant beans anytime between 10 – 28 days before the last frost date and 80 – 133 days before the first frost date. Sow beans where they are to grow, their supports, or, for bush types, four to 6 inches (10 – 15cm) apart with 18 inches (45cm) spacing between rows. Bush Beans should be planted in linear rows to support each other. Use a hoe to scratch out rows or dig individual planting holes with a trowel. Drop in two to three seeds per hole, so they fall about an inch (2cm) apart, and are two inches (2,5cm – 5cm) deep.

WATERING

Water in the morning so the plants can dry rapidly and avoid fungal disease. Water moderately to 1/2 inch of water per week, avoid watering the plant tops. Beans require a minimum of 400 to 500mm rain fall during its rowing season but totals of 600 – 650mm is considered ideal. 

 CROP ROTATION

After harvesting your beans, plant your cabbages on the same field, as beans leave a lot of nitrogen in the soil and this will help you harvest healthy and big cabbages.

                                             

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SAFFRON PRODUCTION

                                                     

Saffron is collected from the blossoms of Crocus sativus(Iridaceae) commonly known as saffron crocus or saffron bulbs. It is propagated by bulbs called corms. Each corm forms new bulbs, and this is how the plant multiplies. The process is tedious and meticulous. This explains why saffron spice came to be so precious as to be called the “red gold”.

SOIL

The Crocus  sativus grows in many different soil types but thrives best in calcareous, humus – rich and well-drained soil with a pH between 6 and 8. Saffron corms can also  grown in dry or semi-dry soil types. However, you need to keep in mind that during periods of drought in autumn and spring, you need to be able to irrigate the land. If you plant the saffron corms in wet or semi-wet soil types you must be sure that your land is well – drained to prevent corms from rotting or getting infected during periods of wet weather.

PLANTING

When planting saffron virgin patch of land, corms for the first time, choose a virgin patch of land, that is, no other tubers or saffron corms have been planted there before, if possible. Before planting, it is advisable to till the soil 20 to 50 centimetres deep to keep the planting beds loose and well – aired, incorporating organic fertilizer during the process. Saffron crocuses are sun- worshipping plants so they love to be planted in the dry open fields rather than in the shade.

WEED CONTROL

Mulching will control the weed growth to some extent. Plants should be mulched with saw dust. Weedicides can be used to check the complete weeds in the saffron field.

FERTILIZERS

Farmers should apply about 35 tonnes of well decomposed farm yard manure in the field before planting. Annual fertilizer application of 20kg “N”, 30 kg “K” and 80kg “P” per h/a is beneficial in autumn and again  immediately after flowering.

YIELD

Generally,  150 to 160 Saffron flowers are needed to make 1 gram of dried saffron. Usually, during the 1st year of plantation 60 -65% of corms will produce 1 flower each and in the subsequent years each corm will produce about 2 flowers.

BENEFITS

Saffron is being used in culinary as well as medicines. Saffron is mainly used in culinary seasoning and to get colour, cottage cheese, Biryanis, meats, liquors, cordials, cakes, confectioneries, breads and Mughlai dishes. Saffron is used commercially in perfumes  and cosmetics. When it comes to medicinal use, Saffron is used in fevers, Ayurvedic treatment to  heal arthritis, impotence and infertility. 

       

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HEALTH CARE SERVICES

                                                   

Many public and private hospitals are running these days and fulfilling the needs of the society and generating income. Still, the need for more hospitals and healthcare services are increasing day by day. Specialized hospitals in any medical field are also working in the health care industry like children hospitals etc. The healthcare industry is also becoming selective in the hiring of new employees as they are focusing on trained and specialized staff for the hospital. Starting a hospital is a good idea and a secure investment.  

A hospital business is a technical venture and need proper planning and a strategy. You can’t merely buy a place and hire doctors to start the venture. You must know the number of people you are targeting for the hospital because it will help to develop the strategy. It is important to take advice and help from the experts so that you won’t ignore the basic issues.

The business of hospitals and health care organizations is one of the most emerging industries and globally adopted by people from all over the world. It is a profitable as well as a long – term stable business. As we know health is an essential need of the society, hence the importance of health management services and organizations can never be underestimated.

Starting a new healthcare venture requires a thorough understanding of the national/government as well as public policy. You need to understand how people deal with the matters related to health and what are their requirements.

Health care services and new hospitals are one of the fastest expanding industries in the world. Its growth depends upon the needs of society. The wealth and development of a nation are dependent upon its health.

Healthcare service providers or organizations are a very serious concern in every part of the world. In fact, the healthcare industry consumes a vast amount of a country’s budget because providing the best health care services to people is the most important task.

                                                               

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START A FOOD TRUCK BUSINESS

                                              

A food truck business can simply be classified as a restaurant on the go (mobile restaurant) . A Food Truck is essentially a large truck that is equipped with the necessary gadgets to cook and conveniently sell foods. It is a business venture that has come to stay; a business that is gaining momentum as the years roll by.

Food Trucks are more popular today than ever before. You’ve likely seen them at festivals, birth day parties, weddings, and other special events. In addition, since the Covid – 19 pandemic began, many patrons opt for grabbing meals from food trucks instead of visiting restaurants.

While the restaurant industry has grown about 2% in recent years, food trucks have skyrocketed at an annual growth rate of 8%. The food truck craze shows no sign of slowing down as people view food trucks as a fun and affordable way to try new foods.

More and more people are realizing the growth of this industry and pursuing their own food truck ventures as a result. Here’s why: they require a much smaller initial investment than a restaurant.

While a food truck is typically easier and more affordable to start and operate than a restaurant, it does take some time and effort to ensure success. There are certain strategies that can help you stand out from other food trucks, gain new customers, retain loyal ones, and maximize your profits.

Also, while there may already be a lot of food truck business ideas in your neighbourhood, the market for food trucks is far from saturated. There’s still an idea floating around your community that no one has pursued. It’s something worth exploring. It’s less risky than trying to open a (brick – and – mortar) business or something on a greater scale. Even if you don’t end up being successful with a truck, you could flip it and sell it or you could try something new.

                                                     

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MAIZE FARMING & PRODUCTION

                                     

Maize is the most important grain crop in South Africa, being both the major feed grain and the staple food for the majority of the South Africa population. About 60% of the maize produced in South Africa is white and the other 40% is yellow maize. Yellow maize is mostly used for animal feed production while white maize is primarily produced for human consumption.

PRODUCTION

Maize is planted from October to December, after enough rain has fallen to let the seed germinate. There is a great variation in planting time between the eastern and western production regions, because of differences in temperatures, rainfall and the duration of the growing season. It can take anything between 90 to 120 days for maize to grow to its harvest period, depending on the variety and climatic conditions.

HARVESTING

Maize can be harvested by hand with a sickle, but are harvested with machines on commercial farms where farmers need to harvest hundreds of hectares within a specific time. Maize is generally left in the field until the moisture percentages reach between 12,5% to 14%, but it can be harvested with a dry matter content of 30 – 38% if it will be used to make silage.

SOIL

Maize needs a dry soil in the spring, but not a soil type that will dry out too much in late spring when the young plants are developing. Growing maize on heavy, day – type soils is probably the biggest handicap when trying to get the best out of this crop because of the difficulty in creating the correct seed – bed in the spring. Medium loams that are easy to work with in the spring, free-draining and will warm up early in the season to enable the young plants to get the best possible start are the most favoured. Very free-draining and light sandy soils can be too extreme.

CROP NUTRITION

Nitrogen is the driver and a lot of crops just don’t get enough because of an over- estimation of what  the slurry can provide.

Maize requires:

  • 180 kg/ha of potash.

  • 40 kg/ha of phosphate.

  • 150 kg/ha of Nitrogen.

Ideally, the application of nitrogen should be split with 75% in the seedbed and the remaining 25% applied at the 1-3 leaf stage. This will help the crop get through its yellow phase often seen at emergence.

                                               

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How sustainable is Amaranth Farming?

                                   

Amaranthus or Amaranth or Amaranths is one of the oldest warm climate leafy vegetable crops grown since centuries. At present Amaranth is extensively grown as a green leafy vegetable in many temperate and tropical regions in the world.

Amaranth is a wonderfully versatile plant that’s a beautiful flower, a delicious vegetable, and a nutritious grain all in one. It even has medicinal qualities. Amaranth has a high nutrient value and is a popular super food worldwide. Because it can withstand harsh climatic conditions, it is also an attractive crop to farm.

World demand for amaranth has sky- rocketed since the 1970’s due to a growing awareness of its health properties, including that it is gluten free. The grain can be milled into flour and the leaves can be eaten like greens.

CLIMATE

Generally, the plant prefers warm weather. However, you can also grow amaranth in the temperate climate during summer. Actually, the plant has efficient photosynthetic abilities and responds best in full sunlight. Additionally, the crop is resistant to drought thus it does not require as much moisture as other crops.

SOIL

Generally, growing amaranth is possible on all types of soil. However, the loam soil is most suitable for its cultivation. Fine seedbed is necessary for this crop and you can prepare a suitable bed by repeated plowing.

PLANTATION

You can grow the crop both in the summer and rainy seasons and in the temperate zone, you can start the plantation before 6 to 8 weeks of the last frost. The seeds of this crop are very small and is sown in flatbeds after mixing those with fine soil for good distribution.

You can transplant the seedlings after raising them in the nursery during the rainy season at a spacing of 45cm from row to row and 30cm from plant to plant. You will need about one kilogram of seed for sowing one acre.

HARVESTING

You can start harvesting when the plants turn yellow or deep brown in color. Growing Amaranth is a very lucrative opportunity for farmers and entrepreneurs that have sufficient land. Within a short duration of time, you can expect a good return from this business.

                                      

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CLEOME FARMING?

                     

Cleome (Cleome gynandra) is a widespread herb that occurs in South Africa from Limpopo to Namibia. Cleome gynandra is a species of Cleome that is used as a green vegetable. It is known by many common names like Shona cabbage, African cabbage, spiderwisp, cat’s whiskers, chin saga, and stinkweed.

Cleome belongs to the Capparaceae family. This herbaceous, erect, and annual plant grows to a height of between 0,5m and 1,5m, depending on the environment. It is a branched plant, sometimes becoming woody with age.

TEMPERATURE

Cleome is sensitive to cold and does not grow well when temperatures drop below 15ºC. It grows well when the temperature is above 27ºC. Because of its tropical origin, cleome is believed to be day-length – insensitive, but some cleome species are facultative long – day species (not restricted to a particular function).

SOIL REQUIREMENTS

Cleome prefers well – drained medium – textured soils and does not grow well in poorly drained or heavy clay soils. It also prefers sandy loam soils, rich in organic matter and responds well to well – decomposed manure. Flowering is delayed when adequate manure is available, allowing more larger leaves to develop.

PLANTING

Seeds are planted at a shallow depth to ensure emergence and a good field stand. Plant seeds in seed beds or plant directly in rows in the field. Mix seeds 1:10 with sand or dry soil before planting.

IRRIGATION

Water requirements vary with the crop’s growth stage, soil type, and weather conditions (hot or cold). Frequent irrigation will be required for sandy soils as these drain quickly. Clay soils, on the other hand, drain quite slowly and hold more water than sandy soils.

HARVESTING

Harvest Maturity

Leaves: Cleome is harvested in summer during the first rains and can be harvested until autumn. Leaf harvesting starts four to six weeks after seeding emergence and it may last four to five weeks.

Seeds: Seeds can be harvested when pods are fully ripe and yellow but before they open naturally to prevent shattering.

                                                       

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Why Pumpkin Farming?

                            

Pumpkins are grown yearly in South Africa. Pumpkins are being produced countrywide in South Africa with the main areas being: Mpumalanga, Vryburg, Western Cape, and Vereniging. About 40 000 h/a of pumpkins are grown yearly in South Africa. 

CULTIVARS

Recommended cultivars are:

  1. Carving – Autumn Gold, Gost Rider – takes 90 days to mature.

  2. Small / Pie Type – Amish Pie, small sugar – takes 90 days to mature.

  3. Giant Pumpkin – Big Max, Big Moon – takes 120 days to mature.

Growers supplying wholesale markets want heavy and uniformly sized pumpkins with strong, dark – colored stems and a deep, bright colour. Growers should keep track of the many new varieties of pumpkins available each year, consider the market, and plant varieties that are best suited to their operations.

SOIL REQUIREMENTS

Pumpkins grow well and produced excellent quality fruit in rich, light – textured soils. Sandy loam or well-drained loamy fertile soils, ideally deeper than 1000mm, are ideal for pumpkins. However, heavier soils can also be used as long as the drainage is adequate. The optimum soil pH is between 6 and 7.5.

PLANTING

Planting on a raised bed promotes drainage, so the roots do not have to deal with constant wetness, which leads to disease problems. The seeds can be planted directly in the site where they will mature. Pumpkins are usually planted in hills. Plant two to three seeds per hill about 2,5cm deep and later thin to one plant per hill.

FERTILIZATION

The plants respond to liberal dressings of manure and compost, which also help the soil to retain moisture. Pumpkins appreciate to be treated generously throughout their growth period. Good feeding for pumpkins is liquid manure applied at intervals of 2 – 3 weeks, starting when the first flower buds open.

HARVESTING

Most pumpkins reach maturity at 3 or 4 months after sowing. The fruit is harvested when the skin becomes hard and lose its shiny appearance.

                                          

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Start a Township & Other Delivery Services

                              

Many niche markets have a need for reliable services, and this is where a small delivery service business can achieve success. One big part of the business is the transportation of cargo. Large and Small businesses alike need to transport inventory, so they need reliable service.

Benefits of this type of Business include:

  • Access to many potential customers.

  • Minimal equipment costs.

  • No requirements for experience or education.

As you think about the deliveries your business will handle, you’ll need to select a vehicle that maximizes cargo space. If you’re moving cargo like medical tests, paperwork or other small items, a transit or cargo van will work well. For larger deliveries, such as furniture, a box truck is a better option.

When you start a delivery service, you may need additional items such as padding, dollies, and straps to secure the cargo. These items may not be available through financing with the vehicle you select, but make sure to plan to buy the necessary items as part of the initial investment. If your delivery service will only handle small packages, a compact car or SUV could offer enough space.

TOWNSHIP DELIVERIES

Fast food deliveries such as Uber Eats and Mr D don’t operate in South Africa’s townships and rural areas and therefore create a huge opportunity for inspiring entrepreneurs to start a small delivery business in these areas.

Electric scooters deliver packages, food and other goods quickly, smoothly, quietly, and very cost effectively. Electric scooters need very little servicing keeping your investment on the road and working for you.

Although it is really hard to pinpoint to a location in these remote areas, you can hire local drivers with intimate knowledge of their communities, landmarks, and the maze of UN-mapped streets which weave through the particular township. 

To limit high petrol costs, electric scooters, who can be fully charged and allow drivers to travel around 90km can be leased from a reliable supplier.

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Start a Biodiesel Business

                                                                   

“Biodiesel” is very different from the normal diesel many of us know. The diesel we’ve used to is produced by “refining petroleum” (also known as crude oil). Crude oil can only be found deep beneath the earth’s surface, from where it is recovered and and refined into several products including – petrol (gasoline) kerosene, and diesel.

Biodiesel is not in any way related to or made from crude oil. Biodiesel is a renewable and clean burning type of diesel that is made from vegetable oils. It can be made from most types of vegetable oils including soy bean oil, canola oil, palm oil and most other popular oils.

The main reasons why the popularity of biodiesel is growing across the world include:

Reduced Waste

Individuals and businesses are looking  for more ways to reduce waste. This is why reuse and recycling have become a big deal nowadays. Millions of liters cooking oil are daily flushed down the sink or sucked into the drain. These can be recycled into a highly valued product that can power trucks and generators.

 Cleaner and Eco – friendly fuels

Biodiesel is biodegradable and non-toxic ( has a low sulphur content and doesn’t contain carcinogens), making it more sensitive and relatively harmless to the environment. As the pressure to further combat climate change increases around the world, it is expected that the volume of biodiesel that is blended with normal diesel will increase. Sometime in the near future cars and trucks could run on 100 % biodiesel.

Dependence on crude oil products

To avoid any future surprises from the unpredictability of global oil prices, more countries around the world are looking at locally accessible energy sources to up their supplies and to protect them from oil price shocks. Biodiesel is an interesting option for anyone who’s looking to diversify or compliment their energy supply sources. Both virgin and used vegetable oils are abundantly produced in South Africa, and this makes it possible for biodiesel to be produced anywhere in the world.

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Running a Solar Panel Mtce Business

      

Regular and proper solar panel maintenance is a vital part of:

  • maintaining solar panel efficiency.

  • generating more electricity from solar and

  • preventing breakdowns or expensive repairs in the future.

While on – demand solar maintenance can be useful – especially after events that may have caused damage -solar installation longevity benefits most from regular, scheduled maintenance. Ideally, a solar panel system should get a professional inspection or preventative maintenance on a regular basis, especially in areas that see significant seasonal weather.

Maintenance

Regular maintenance of any solar panel system should ensure:

  • solar panels are clean, secure and free of defects.

  • no parts have deteriorated/ corroded.

  • vents are free of debris.

  • switches do not have any defects.

  • wiring has not been damaged/ has not deteriorated.

  • electrical checks to ensure all components are operating as intended.

  • confirming fittings and cables are securely attached.

  • reviewing the inverter display panel for recorded faults.

  • checking that access to the isolator switches has not been impeded, and/or

  • making sure the emergency procedures for shutdown and isolation are clearly displayed.

The Solar Panel Maintenance industry has galloped ahead in recent years as a result of the rapid technological developments in our world and favorable government policies. In the coming years, demand for solar panel installations and maintenance services is projected to continue growing.

As an aspiring entrepreneur who is ready and committed to build a business that will survive in the future, you should build your business along the line of new technology. One of such businesses that can be categorized under new technology is the solar panel installation and maintenance business.

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Set up a Equipment Mtce Business

     

The technical meaning of maintenance involves:

* functional checks.

* servicing.

* repairing or replacing necessary devices, equipment & machinery.

* building infrastructure, and supporting utilities in industrial, business, and residential installations.

Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) include the following:

1. Preventive Maintenance, also known as PM.

2. Planned Maintenance, where equipment is repaired or replaced after wear, malfunction or break down.

3. Predictive Maintenance, which uses sensor data to monitor a system, then continuously evaluates it against historical trends to predict failure before it occurs.

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE (PM)

This is a routine for periodically inspecting, with the goal of noticing small problems and fixing them before major ones develop. The main goal is for the equipment to make it from one planned service to the next without any failures caused by fatigue, neglect or normal wear.

Main Objectives:

# Enhance Capital Equipment productive life.

# Reduce critical equipment breakdown.

# Minimize production loss due to equipment failures.

PLANNED MAINTENANCE

Planned maintenance or scheduled maintenance, is any variety of scheduled maintenance to an object or item of equipment. Specifically, planned maintenance is a scheduled service visit carried out by a competent and suitable agent, to ensure that an item of equipment is operating correctly and to therefore avoid any unscheduled breakdown and downtime.

PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE

Predictive Maintenance techniques are designed to help determine the condition of in – service equipment in order to estimate when maintenance should be performed. This approach provides cost savings over routine or time – based preventive maintenance, because tasks are performed only when warranted.

When companies does not take care of their assets, machines, and equipment efficiently they may end up in a loss situation. This can be avoided if equipment maintenance is done. It also create huge opportunities for entrepreneurs that want to start their own successful and sustainable businesses and to cater for this market.

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CLEMENTINE FARMING

                                                   

Citrus is divided into four groups:

  1. Oranges.

  2. Grapefruit.

  3. Lemons and

  4. Soft Citrus – Clementine / Mandarins.

Clementine is the world’s premier mandarin. They easy to peel and if grown in single blocks away from cross – pollinating varieties, the fruit is seedless. When mature, the peel turns bright orange. Clementines has a distinctive sweet taste and flavour.

Clementine trees flourish in full to partial sunlight. Even though they prefer full sun , they can tolerate shade. Sandy soil is best for Clementine trees, but they will adapt to natural soil. To make soil sandier, mix in sand or a fine potting mix. Just make sure that the soil is well- draining.

PLANTING

Early spring is the best time for transplanting. Planting holes of 0,5 x 0,5 x 0,5m are prepared ad the soil mixed well with 2 spadefuls of compost or kraal manure and 250g of super-phosphate. Once the tree has been planted, the soil must be firmly tramped down. A basin for irrigation is made around the tree which must be thoroughly irrigated immediately after planting. Irrigate again the following day to seal any cracks in the soil.

FERTILIZATION

During the first year, nitrogen may be applied every 2 months. Any of the following nitrogen fertilizers may be applied:

  • 6 Applications of 25g limestone ammonium nitrate (LAN 28%) per tree or

  • 6 Applications of 16g urea (46%) per tree per year or

  • 6 Applications of 36g ammonium sulphate (21%) per tree per year.

From the second year , nitrogen must be applied twice a year , half in July and half in March. Fertilizer should be spread evenly under the canopy of the tree and irrigated. Phosphorus may be applied at any time of the year, one application should be sufficient. Potassium should also be applied once, early in spring.

IRRIGATION

During the first 6 months the trees should be irrigated twice a week and thereafter every 7 days. The irrigation basin should be gradually enlarged as the tree grows, so that it is always slighter bigger than the drip line of the tree.

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Start your own Container Business

 

 

             

Containers are used to establish a variety of business ideas worldwide. Containers are mobile and versatile and offer a wide range of possibilities for innovative entrepreneurs. These include – but not limited to:-

RETAIL

Containers can provide enough space for a variety of retail options. Retail shops that are doing well in a container – sized space are clothing, antiques, gifts, and used book shops to name a few. Multiple containers can also be placed or linked together to make a “shopping mall” for a variety of retail shops. They also ideal in the rural communities where people are far from their nearest shopping centre.

RESTAURANTS

Containers are easily converted. Doors, windows, counters and desks can affordably and effortlessly be added to make the container more user friendly. Considering this, running a small, or large, restaurant from a container is a unique, Eco – friendly and quirky  option for someone who doesn’t want to over-capitalize on building or rental costs.

RENTALS

Investing in containers to rent out can be a lucrative business option. Containers make ideal tiny homes and can be kitted out either as a permanent rental or for holiday lets.

FARMING

Containers can be an excellent asset to farming entrepreneurs by earning farmers extra revenue. Hydroponic vegetable growing systems have been successfully installed in containers. These organic growing systems in a 40ft container can produce up to an acre’s worth of crop yields. Being compact and movable, containers can also be placed close to crops and plantations where they can serve as a farmer’s marketplace for freshly produce.

EVENTS

Mobile performance venues have become very popular in South Africa. A single container, which can be converted to have drop-down sides, makes an ideal stage for music and other type of performances. Not only is it easy and affordable to set up, but it also makes a perfect mobile unit.

                                

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How to set up Cherry Farming

        

Cherry trees can only be grown in certain areas of South Africa. They prefer cold winters and don’t like hot summers, wind and frost. In addition, cherry trees are sensitive to root phytophthora and boll-worm. Birds love cherries and can devour up to 10% of the harvest. Growing cherries under netting is a solution to this problem.

Cherries are a crop with short harvest season. The cherry harvest in South Africa starts from week 41 – the second week in October, and ends around week 51 – the end of December, but certain varieties and late harvesting in some areas can extend the season into mid January.

Cherries are used to make cherry liqueurs and wines. Other cherry products such as cherry sauces, jams, canned and glazed cherries are also produced in South Africa. Dried, powered, freeze- dried and powered cherries in capsules are also available. But cherry concentrate (for juice etc) is imported.

Cherry Cultivars

Sweet cherry farming in South Africa started with the planting of cherry cultivars such as Early River, Early Red Five, Giant Heidelfinger and Bing. There are a large number of cherry varieties planted in South Africa, these include Royal Hazel, Royal Dawn, Royal Lynn, Royal Edie and Royal Helen. The most popular one grown by an individual producer is the red flavorful newcomer Royal Hazel. This is a variety with a good shelf life, is suitable for shipping and is already making up 10% of South Africa’s total plantings, of just under 390h/a. Other cherry cultivars also planted on large scale include Royal Edie and Royal Helen.

Harvesting

Cherries are a non – climacteric fruit – this means it is picked fully ripe and does not ripen further after harvesting. Cherry – picking is labor intensive as it needs  to be hand – picked with the stems intact. An orchard will be picked up to 6 times in a season. Harvested cherries need to be cooled to 0,5°C as soon as possible; this is often done using a hydro-cooler.

                 

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Sustainable Shallot Farming

                 

Shallots (Eschalots) are members of the alium family, closely related to onions, garlic and chives. Shallot bulbs grow in clusters, similar to cloves of garlic. The biggest distinction between shallots and other onions, besides their milder flavor, is their cellular structure. Shallots break down much more easily when cooked, allowing for a softer level of caramelization, or a more subtle touch when creating a foundation in sources etc.

Shallots are packed with micro-nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, and B vitamins. It increase your intake of micro – nutrients, protein and fiber. Shallot differs from the everyday onion in some fundamental ways:

Firstly – Shallots grows like garlic, in clusters rather than single bulbs.

Secondly – Shallots has a softer flavor, bringing all the essence of an onion without the punch.

Thirdly – Shallots is smaller and a little more oval – shaped.

Soil

Fertile, well – drained soil with compost dug in. In clay soil, use raised beds or rows.

Spacing

Single Plants – 15cm each way (minimum).

Rows – 10cm with 15cm row gap (minimum).

Planting

Easiest to sow as sets (tiny bulbs) which are planted direct into the soil from early winter onward. Can also be grown from seed in which case start in pots under cover in late winter before planting out mid spring.

Harvesting

It usually takes 2 months for the shallots to be ready for harvest. One signal that the bulb had reached its maturity is when the top part of the plant withers. Harvested shallots should be stored in cool places and it is advised that you put them inside a mesh or any other breathable storage,

Shallot farming is a profitable business due to the fact that it is not hard to plant and to maintain and is also in demand in the market. Shallots do not require a specific kind of climate to grow and can even grow healthy in a garden directly exposed to sunlight or shaded.

            

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How to start profitable pea farming?

      

Scientific Name – Pisum sativum L

Common Names – Matar (Hindi, Nepali) Pea, split pea, garden pea, seed pea, shelling pea. combining pea, field pea, dry pea, vining pea.

Family Name – Fabaceae

Commercially peas are grown almost in all parts of the cooler areas of South Africa, particularly in KZN, Brits and Rustenburg in North West, and in the Mpumalanga Lowveld. The pea is a green, pod-shaped vegetable, widely grown as a cool – season vegetable crop. There are generally three types of peas that are commonly eaten:

  1. Garden or Green Peas (Pisum sativum).

  2. Snow Peas (Pisum sativum var, macrocarpon).

  3. Snap Peas (Pisum sativum var, macrocarpon ser. cv).

Soil Requirements

Peas can be grown on all types of soil but it prefers well- drained sandy loam soils.The soils should be rich in organic matter as it enhances better growth by supplying nutrients at a slower rate. It does not thrive in highly acidic or alkaline soils or saline type of soils. It grows best at a pH of 6.5. If the pH is less than 6.0, then then it should be amended to improve the soil conditions.

Soil Preparation

The field should be well prepared by 2 or 3 ploughings. The soil should not be much pulverized and fine. However, it must be free from weeds and stuble of the kharif crop grown earlier. Well- decomposed farmyard manure at 25 to 30 t/ha along with 100kg dolomite per hectare should be applied during final ploughing.

Planting

Peas are normally sown directly where they are to grow to maturity, but they can also be sown early in pots, in a greenhouse, to bring on plants for planting out. Otherwise sow early March, second sowing in April, third sowing in May and late sowing using early varieties in June or even into early July.

Spacing

Garden pea is sown rather densely, with plant densities up to 80 plants per square metre. The seed should be sown 4 to 7cm deep. Approximately 60 to 200 kg/ha of seed is required. Plant peas 3 to 5cm deep and 2cm apart in single or double rows. Allow 46 to 60cm between single or pairs of rows. Allow 20 to 25cm between double rows in pairs.

Harvesting

Harvesting period: 58 to 74 days, depending on the variety and growing conditions (soil, temperature, and moisture).

     

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How to start Fennel Farming

                            

Fennel is an evergreen perennial which is usually grown as an annual in South Africa. However, in frost free regions fennel can be treated as a short lived perennial. In the cooler regions of South Africa, fennel seed can be sown from spring to autumn.

Because hot temperatures and humidity tend to induce bolting, in the rest of the country fennel is an excellent intermediate to cool season crop, sown in late summer or early spring before the weather gets too hot.

The fennel plants need to grow fast in order to produce the best quality bulbs and leaves so the beds need to be well prepared with lots of added compost or manure and a dressing of organic 2.3.2. Funnel crops sown in autumn may take up to 20 weeks to mature.

Planting

* Plant fennel seeds 1 to 3cm deep.

* Fennel plants can reach up to 1-5m and need some room to spread.

* Space fennel plants at least 50cm apart, with about 60cm between the rows.

* Protect fennel plants from extreme heat and wind.

* Water well until well established.

Fennel Health Benefits

* Fennel is good for digestion.

* Fennel is useful in the treatment of anemia.

* Fennel is extensively used for treating constipation, diarrhea, renal colic, respiration and menstrual disorders.

* Fennel helps in increasing iron absorption.

* Fennel is good for bone health.

* Fennel helps lowering blood pressure.

* Fennel may reduce getting cancer.

* Fennel boost immune power.

* Fennel helps in weight management.

* Fennel is good for skin health.

Type of Funnel

When it comes to selection a certain type of funnel, you can choose from the herb or bulb variety – both share a sweet aniseed flavor. Common fennel is widely available as a herb, but bronze fennel is well worth adding to your farming operation.

                              

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Parsley Farming

                                                                         

Parsley is a biennial plant with bright green, feather- like leaves and is the same family as dill. This popular herb is used in sauces, salads, and especially soups, as it lessens the need for salt. Not only is parsley the perfect garnish, it’s also good for you: It’s rich in iron and vitamins A and C.

Soil

Parsley enjoys well – draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Pick a spot that gets full sun (6 to 8 hours of sunlight). Try to choose an area that is weed – free; that way you will be able to see the parsley sprouting after about 3 weeks.

Planting

Sow parsley seeds 1/4 inch deep. Sow seeds about 6 to 8 inches apart. For larger plants, sow about 8 to 10 inches apart. Be sure to keep soil moist while seeds germinate. It can take 2 to 4 weeks for seedlings to appear.

Pests / Diseases

* Stem rot.

* Leaf spots.

* Carrot fly and celery fly larvae.

Harvesting

When the leaf stems have three segments, parsley is ready to be harvested. Cut leaves from the outer portions of the plant whenever you need them. Leave the inner portions of the plant to mature. If you want fresh parsley throughout the winter, replant the parsley plant in a pot and keep it in a sunny window.

Storage

One method of storing the parsley fresh is to put the leaf stalks in water and keep them in the refrigerator. Another method of storage is drying the parsley. Cut the parsley at the base and hang it in a well- ventilated shady and warm place. Once it is completely dry, crumble it up and store it in an container.

 

                               

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SUCCESSFUL BEETROOT FARMING

                                                                                  

Beetroot is generally a widely adaptable crop that can be grown under most conditions throughout South Africa. Beetroot can be planted all year round but as a rule of thumb, areas where there could be frost conditions or excessive heat around planting time these should be avoided.

Soil Preparation

As seed is sown directly, fields need to be prepared correctly and thoroughly. The soil need to be well tilled, free of old plant material and have a good crumb structure. Good soil preparation can be achieved by ploughing, harrowing, and leveling prior to sowing. The ideal pH for beetroot production is between 6.0 and 8.0. Beetroot prefer deep, friable, well drained sandy loams to silt loams.

Crop Rotation

Good crop rotation will keep the soil healthy and fertile. Beetroot can safely be rotated with the following crops:

  • Legumes.

  • Babala.

  • Cereals.

  • Tomatoes.

  • Cabbage.

  • Onions and carrots.

Transplanting

More than 90% of beetroot producers sow the seed directly in the soil, but seed can also be sown in seedbeds, and then transplanted. Seed trays or other containers can also be used to raise seedlings but this is expensive because of the high cost.

Harvesting

Soil should be slightly moist before cutting or pulling beets. If the soil is too dry, roots maybe difficult to clean and the rate of top breakage maybe too high. For the best flavor and tenderness harvesting should begin when roots are 3-4cm in diameter. Handle beets carefully after harvesting to avoid damaging the roots. Any damage reduces shelf life and increases the chances of decay and disease.

                                             

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SPRING ONION FARMING

                                

Spring onions add interest to many dishes. The white bulbs have a delicate onion flavor while the long hollow leaves can be thinly sliced to add texture and color. Spring Onion seeds are sowed from March to August at 3 weekly intervals. Harvesting can start 8 weeks after sowing.

Spring Onions are very easy to grow for commercial purposes and consumers like them because they can be used in a variety of recipes. Spring onions are sometimes called: scallions, bunching onions, long green onions, Japanese bunching onions or salad onions. They are a good source of vitamins A, B and C and come in white and red color stemmed varieties.

Soil Requirements

The best soil for the Spring Onion crop is slightly acid, with a pH between 5.3 and 5.8 – using calcium chloride to measure the levels. Spring Onion crop is produced throughout the year.

Spacing

Single plants – 10cm each way (minimum).

Rows – 10cm with 10cm row gap (minimum).

To sow Spring Onion seed outdoors, sow seeds thinly into shallow drills about 1,5cm deep with rows spaced 30cm apart. Water and keep the seeds environment moist. Once the Spring Onion seeds have germinated and developed into a substantial young plant, cover them with cloches.

Watering

Spring Onions like moderate moisture and water the onions when the soil is starting to dry around the onions. Be careful not to over-water the plant as you will get larger onions with a very weak flavor. Spring Onion plants need to be well watered throughout their growth.This is because of their short root length.

Harvesting

Generally, harvest Spring Onions after 8 weeks. Spring Onions are ready to eat once they reach about 6 inches in height with a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Usually, this takes approximately 8 weeks, but some may take a few weeks longer.

                                          

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Business & Farming Proposals

                   

What is a R.F.P.? – Request for Proposal.

Generally speaking, businesses that send a RFP know the “what” of their problem and need, but not necessarily the “how” it will be solved. The main concern of a business/farming proposal is finding the best solution. However,, a RFP is not to be confused with an invitation for bid – IFB. An IFB is sent when a business already knows what their need is and how they want to fulfill the need.

What is a business/farming proposal?

A proposal is a written document sent by a business to persuade a potential client to choose that specific business. They can be solicated or unsolicated, as long as they pertain to the prospect’s business and needs. When a proposal is requested through an RFP, however, your prospect is actively looking for the kind of solution your business provides.

What is the difference between a business proposal and a business plan?

Business Proposal – This is a document meant to persuade a person or business requesting a solution to their need or problem.

Business PlanThis is a document of your vision for your business and how you intend to achieve that vision. Business Plans include financial projections for the cost of your business development and operations. Also, an estimation of the revenue you expect your business to generate. Business or Farming/Agric Plans are not used to win over a prospect for their business, but business proposals may sometimes be used in a business or farming plan.

Your business or farming proposal is your opportunity to convince your buyer that they should choose your business rather than doing it themselves or using a different vendor or resource.  When creating your proposal, approach it conversationally, as if you sitting across the table in front of the reader.

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CARMINGO APRICOT FARMING

                                                                         

Apricots in supermarkets have always been seen as a niche product and the new Carmingo range, offer a season extension. The product is a winner for consumers because of its good size, high natural sweetness and good shelf life.

Production Areas

Apricots thrive in areas with cold, dry winters and dry, hot summers. While they are produced throughout South Africa, the bulk of production takes place in the Western Cape under winter rainfall conditions.

Apricot Season

Depending on climatic conditions, the production area and cultivar, the apricot season in South Africa takes place from November to March, with small volumes trickling in around April.

Apricot Uses

Apricots are high in fibre, vitamins, especially vitamins A and C, and minerals. The fruit and skin are edible, but the stone is discarded. Apricots can be enjoyed fresh or canned, pureed, dried, preserved or juiced. They are also used to make chutneys and are included in cooking.

Production

Trees require a minimum of 4000 m3 water/ha per year. Production costs and labor are relatively similar to that of the older apricot cultivars but the establishment costs are significantly higher. This is working out at about R80/tree, as the plant material is subject to royalties.

Trees are usually planted at a density of 1000/ha spaced at 2,5m in the row and 4m between the rows, as these trees have a more upright growth. The fruit may be exported only by licensed exporters, which in South Africa are Icon Fruit, Delecta, Cape 5 and Stems.

To enable you to start successfully or to expand your farming operation you will need a Professional and well – structured Agric/Farming type of Business Plan.

CONTACT US NOW FOR PROFESSIONAL HELP BY AN EX – BANK MANAGER AT (27)11 704 1248 or (27) 84 583 3143 or email us at – money@global.co.za

        

 

 

How to start a Manufacturing Business?

                                 

“Manufacturing” refers to a large – scale production of goods. The goods converts raw materials, parts, and components into finished merchandise using manual labor and/or machines. The finished goods can be sold directly to consumers, manufacturers or wholesalers.

A manufacturing business is any business that uses raw materials, parts and components to assemble finished goods, Manufacturing businesses often employ machines, robots, computers and humans to produce the merchandise. It typically use an assembly line, which enables a product to be put together step by step.

Manufacturing Types:

There are 3 main types of manufacturing production:

  1. Make – to – Stock (MTS).

  2. Make – to – Order (MTO).

  3. Make – to – Assemble (MTA).

Make – to – Stock – (MTS) is a traditional manufacturing strategy that relies on past sales data. The data is used to forecast consumer demand and plan the production activity in advance. The drawback of this strategy is that it uses past data to predict future demand. This increases the likelihood of the forecast being off, leaving the manufacturer with too much or not enough stock.

Make – to – order – (MTO) – This allows customers to order products that are customized and manufactured to their specifications. The manufacturing process begins only after the order is received. So, the waiting time for the customer is longer, but the risk of excessive inventory is cut out.

Make – to – Assemble – (MTA) – This is a strategy that relies on demand forecasts to stock the basic components of a product. Assembling starts after the order is received. It’s a hybrid of MTS and MTO approaches. Customers can customize the products and receive them quicker because the manufacturer has the basic components ready. However, if orders don’t come in, the manufacturer is stuck with a stock of unwanted parts.

To reduce risks, any type of manufacturing business should focus on keeping production costs low. Also, maintaining good quality control and investing in excellent sales management.

TO ENABLE YOU TO SET UP AND RUN A SUCCESSFUL MANUFACTURING BUSINESS YOU WILL NEED A PROFESSIONAL AND WELL – STRUCTURED BUSINESS PLAN CONTACT US NOW FOR HELP AT: (27) 84 583 3143 or Email US AT : money@global.co.za

           

 

 

Start with Brinjals

                                                                                    

“Brinjals”or Eggplant” is a species of nightshade, and therefore related to the potato and tomatoes. Brinjal is a warm – season crop grown for its edible fruit. Good – quality brinjals can be grown in open lands across various parts of the country year – round.

Soil

Brinjals favor a well – drained loam to sandy loam soil. However, it will grow reasonably well in a wide range of different soil types. Certain criteria in terms of the soil structure and content must be met to make the crop commercially viable. These include nutrient composition, compaction, effective soil depth, pH, crop rotation, herbicide residue and the water- holding capacity of the soil.

Varieties

Different varieties produce fruit of different sizes shapes and colors. This varying from white to yellow or green, reddish purple and dark purple. The currently favored cultivars produce a fruit that is egg-shaped, 12cm to 25 cm long and 6cm to 9cm in diameter, and has a dark purple skin.

Harvesting

Pick Brinjals/eggplant when the skin takes on a high gloss. To test, press the skin. If the indentation doesn’t spring back, that fruit is ready for harvest. To harvest clip the eggplant of the plant with pruning shears, keeping the cap and about 1 inch of the stem intact.

Eggplants” will keep up to two weeks of refrigerated. If you cut open an eggplant fruit and find that the seeds inside have turned brown, the fruit is past prime quality and the flavor may be bitter. The best way to avoid this is by picking fruits on the young side. This is when they are a third or two- thirds of their fully mature size.

NEED HELP WITH A PROFESSIONAL FARMING PLAN OR PROPOSAL? CONTACT US NOW AT: (27)84 583 3143 OR Email: money@global.co.za. YOU CAN ALSO MAKE USE OF OUR ONLINE CONSULTING SERVICES ON ZOOM, SKYPE, FACETIME OR GOOGLE MEET – CONTACT US FOR DETAILS.

             

 

PROFITABLE BROCCOLI FARMING

                                   

“Broccoli” has become a far more important crop of late due to its reported health benefits. Broccoli is also much easier to grow than before. The best months for growing broccoli in South Africa is February, March and April.

“Broccoli” is worth growing for its nutritional content alone. The crop is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of Vitamin A, Potassium, Folid Acid, Iron and Fiber.

Planting Site

* Broccoli requires a site with exposure to full sun – (6-8 hours per day).

* Plant in a bed of moist, fertile soil that drains well.

* Soil pH should be slightly acidic, between 6.0 and 7.0

Planting

* Outdoors – sow seeds 1/2 inch deep and 3 inches apart.

* Indoors – plant transplants that are 4-6 weeks old, outdoors 12 – 20 inches apart. Plant in holes slightly deeper than their container depth.

* Space rows of broccoli should be 3 feet apart.

* Water well at the time of planting.

Harvesting

Broccoli grown from seed will come to harvest in 100 – 150 days. Grown from transplants broccoli will come to harvest in 55 to 80 days. Cut buds when they are still green and tight. Cut the central head with 5 to 6 inches of stem. Leave the base of the plant and some outer leaves to encourage new heads on secondary shoots.

In general, broccoli plants can be harvested two or three times and for a period up to 3 months. Broccoli should be harvested when the heads are small, tight and firm. If flower buds appear, it should be cut immediately.

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CACTUS / PRICKLY PEAR FARMING

Cactus or prickly pear farming is enjoying renewed interest in South Africa. This is because of the drought and climate change as well as the commercial potential of a crop with abundant uses.

Prickly pear is a surprising simple cactus. Its easy and undemanding to grow. It is also hardy enough to survive in most climates, and boasts a cheery, delicate flower. Prickly pears are a cactus, so they need well- draining soil first and foremost. Plant them in full sun in a sandy or gravely mix and go easy on the water.

Soil

In order for the prickly pear to thrive, it needs to be planted in well-draining soil. Your best bet is a mixture that is dry, sandy, or gravelly. It can also do well in a mixture that is primarily clay, as long as it drains very well and soil does not retain much moisture. Prickly pear isn’t especially high – maintenance and can thrive in a neutral- to -acidic mixture with a pH level of 6.0 – 7.5

Water

Prickly pear cactus is extremely drought tolerant so water it less than you think it needs. In most areas, your typical rainfall will be likely be enough for the cactus to thrive. If not, you can plan to water the plant every two to four weeks.

Fertilizer

When planted outdoors in garden soil, no fertilizer is needed. However, occasional feeding may be required indoors. Use well-balanced fertilizer and let the plant tell you when it needs food. This will be when its green color starts to pale or it doesn’t flower, it should be fed.

Plant Usage

Farmers use the cactus pear to make fodder and silage. Consumers eat the fruit, bio gas made from the plan can produce electricity. Furthermore, the fruit can be used to make oil, juice, jam, jelly, and chutney and the cladodes  can be turned into salads. The ruit is also used to make beer, wine, mampoer or liqueurs.

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Golden Kiwi Farming

        

Kiwifruits also known as simply “kiwis” are a popular type of edible berry that grows on wines in temperature regions. If you want to grow a kiwi plant for its fruit, purchace a grafted plant from a nursery.

The three types of kiwi fruit are:

1. Common Kiwi – This is the type of kiwifruit typically found in grocery stores. It is a brown/fuzzy fruit with a thick skin and green pulp.

2. Golden Kiwi – Another popular type of kiwi. The golden kiwi is sweeter but more delicate compared to the common kiwi. It is closely related to common kiwifruit but less fuzzy and more yellow.

3. Kiwi Berry – This name usually refers to two different kiwi species, the hardy kiwi and the super-hardy kiwi. These kiwifruits are much smaller compared to common and golden kiwis and have a thinner smooth skin.

Development in the South Africa’s kiwifruit industry has been picking up pace over recent years. There are now 500 ha planted, including 200 ha of yellow varieties. South African growers produce good quality yellow kiwi. They produce it at a time when they can go into a market in Europe ahead of any other Southern Hemisphere players.

Input Costs – Hail netting for a 10 ha orchard will cost about R250 000/ha. To buy and plant young vines and maintaining through their first 3 years of growth can cost R250 000 – R300 000/ha.

The trees enter production in their fourth year. It will cost approximately R60 000/ha/year to manage a mature gold kiwifruit orchard from then on wards.

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PRECISION FARMING / AGRICULTURE

 

       

Precision Farming seeks to use new technologies to increase crop yields and profitability while lowering the levels of traditional inputs. These inputs are needed to grow crops – land, water, fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides. In other words, farmers utilizing precision agriculture are using less to grow more. Precision agriculture is the latest trend in agricultural sectors around the world, because it saves time and reduces cost.

DO YOU NEED TO SWITCH TO PRECISION FARMING???

Yes. It is already profitable and will be inevitable in the future.American farmers already save between $11 000 and $39 000 a year on average. The sooner farmers begin to implement precision farming, the more competitive they will be in the future.

Precision Farming Benefits:

  • Simplified Farming Processes.
  • More cost – efficient farming.
  • More time on hands.
  • Higher yields and more profitable.
  • Better quality produce.
  • Less waste.
  • Higher quality of life.

       

Many farmers are adopting new equipment to make their farming more precise. Tractors can map fields, drives themselves, and check it’s own motion so it doesn’t waste fertilizer, seed or fuel. Farnming technology includes remote sensing with data collection on variables like nutrient levels and soil moisture.

Precision farming is about managing variations in the field accurately to grow more food using fewer resources and reducing production costs. The main goal of “precision farming” is to improve agricultural yield and reduce potential environmental risks.

Future of Precision Farming

Some of the most recently technologies available and under development are the state – of – the – art robots. They are capable of managing crops more and more accurately with the possibility of collecting important data.

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REGENERATIVE FARMING?

     

“Regenerative Farming” is the latest buzz in responsible agricultural management. It is similar to conservation farming. It combines the use of stubble retention, crop rotation and the minimum disturbance of the soil to promote soil health.

Although having the same aims, regenerative farming moves beyond the simple definition of “organic”  and “biological” production. It aims to adapt farming practices to what is happening in and around the plant. It also essentially mimic rather than work against nature.

The key to regenerative agriculture is that it not only “does no harm” to the land but actually improves it. It is done by using technologies that regenerate and revitalize the soil and the environment. Regenerative agriculture leads to healthy soil, capable of producing high quality, nutrient dense food. It simultaneously improve, rather than degrade the land, and ultimately leading to productive farms and healthy communities and economies.

A breakdown of what’s typically involved with regenerating farming include but not limited to:

  • Crop rotation, or successively farming more than one plant on the same land.
  • Cover cropping, or planting year-round so the land isn’t fallow during off-seasons, which helps prevent soil erosion.
  • Conservative tillage, or less plowing of fields.
  • Cattle grazing, which naturally stimulates plant growth.
  • Curtailing the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Animal welfare and fair working practices for farmers.

Regenerative farming practices, such as cover cropping and livestock grazing, aim always to keep a living root in the soil. These practices cycle nutrients without aggressively disturbing the soil to keep carbon stored underground where it belongs. Meanwhile, , composting boosts populations of beneficial soil microbes that feed plants and help them manage pests. This reduces the need for fertilizers, which, when used excessively, can release nitrogen into the air. It also decreases dependence on herbicides and pesticides, which kill healthy bacteria and fungi in the soil.

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HOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL FREE RANGE CHICKEN FARM?

       

Free Range Chicken Farming is a method of chicken farming where the chickens are allowed to roam freely outdoors. This is done for a good part of the day rather than being confined in an enclosure for 24 hours.

In most free range chicken farms, the outdoor ranging area is fenced and therefore making the area an enclosure. Chicken meat is generally consumed in all parts of the world and is very healthy. There are many free range farms that raise chickens and making huge profits from their farming operation.

When you running your own free range chicken farming operation, it is better to produce your own chicken feed. One of the most economical  ways of feeding is to grow your own meal-worms as feeding for them. Meal – worms is the most ideal meal to feed free range chickens. It is also less stressful and inexpensive when you do it yourself.

Breed Selection

Free range chicken farmers work with various breeds like:

Meat Production – Cobb, Ross, Arbor Acres, Hubbard.

Egg Production – Lohmann, Browns, Lohman Silver, Hy-Line Silver, Hy-Line Brown, Amber – Link and Lohmann Hybrids.

Other poultry hybrids include the following chicken breeds:

  • Potch Koekoek.
  • Borschvelders.
  • Black Australorps.

With the market for “free range eggs” continuing to grow, more new players are getting into the sector.They raise chickens in a semi – intensive , free range or fully organic system. Many of the new entrants are tempted by the relatively low start up costs. Also, the potentially good margins as free range and organic products tend to fetch a higher price.

TO ENABLE YOU TO START YOUR OWN SUCCESSFUL FREE RANGE CHICKEN FARMING OPERATION YOU WILL NEED HELP WITH A WELL – STRUCTURED CHICKEN FARMING BUSINESS PLAN. CONTACT US NOW FOR PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE AT: (27) 84 583 3143 OR EMAIL: money@global.co.za

                                 

 

How to be Successful in Spinach Farming?

            

Spinach is not only full of flavour, but full of goodness too. Spinach is high in iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin c and low in categories. What most of us eat as spinach is usually “Swiss Chard” because it is:

  • Much more available.
  • Easier to grow.
  • Heat tolerant and
  • More productive.

Spinach and Swiss Chard are among the easiest vegetables to grow. They germinate easily, don’t take up much space and are easy to harvest. However, they are gross feeders and need regular feeding to be a great success.

Soil Requirements

Spinach seeds germinate at 2°C to 30°C. However, 7°C to 24°C is optimum. Seeds will not germinate well in warm weather. Although spinach will grow in temperatures ranging from 5° to 24°C, growth is more rapid at 15° to 18°C.

The plant requires a constant and uniform supply of water in order to obtain a good crop of high quality. During spinach production, the soil should never be allowed to dry out. Spinach requires plenty of water, although the soil should have good drainage.

Spinach grows well on a variety of soils, although fertile, sandy loams with a high organic matter content is preferred. Spinach is particularly sensitive to saturated soil conditions and to acidity. The optimum soil pH is 6.2 to 6.9.

Planting

Before planting, prepare and enrich the soil with generous amounts of organics as well as bone meal for root development.

  • Spinach and Swiss Chard can be sown in situ. Swiss Chard can also be sown in seed trays as it transplants better than spinach.
  • Keep the soil moist during germination – which takes about 5 days.
  • Seedlings should be spaced, or thinned out, to about 20cm apart.
  • Feed with a liquid fertilizer about 2 weeks after germination and at least once a month after that..

Plants should be spaced 10 – 20 cm apart in rows that are 30cm apart. This equates to about 160 000+ plants per hectare. Commercial growers that harvest mechanically plant closer together at 15cm by 25cm giving the grower 250 000+ plants per hectare.

Growth Period

Harvesting of the first outer leaves can begin at 60 to 70 days from planting. To ensure longer production periods and higher yields spinach needs Nitrogen in the soil throughout its growing period.

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Battery Recycling

                

It is evident that batteries comprised of various hazardous ingredients. This could be incredibly damaging to the environment when dumped. If we do not recycle them, the hazardous materials are sure to wind up in rivers, soil, and air. .

Batteries are expensive and have a relatively short life span. As discarded batteries grow by the tonnage, entrepreneurs are enticed to start a business in recycling. The primary objective of building a good battery is long life, safety and low price.. Recycling is an afterthought and manufacturers do little to simplify the retrieving of precious metals. The recycling business is small compared to the vast battery industry, and only lead acid can be recycled profitably.

Lead – acid batteries are an environmental success story with more than 90% of all scrap batteries successfully recycled in South Africa. This is compared with 70% of beverage cans, 65% of news papers, 30% of plastic, and 26% of glass.

Every day thousand of batteries are produced to service everything from industrial machines, automobiles and even golf carts. Anything that needs mobile electricity needs a powerful battery. The problem is that defunct batteries pose an environmental conundrum. If not dealt with correctly the hazardous materials end up being cast away and negatively impact the environment.

Common materials for recycling includes bottles, paper, towels, aluminum cans etc. Niches available in the recycling industry are:

  • Metals recycling.
  • Plastic recycling.
  • Electronic recycling.
  • Water recycling.
  • Oil recycling.
  • Glass recycling.
  • Furniture recycling.
  • Garbage recycling.
  • Tyre recycling.
  • Construction waste recycling.
  • Paper recycling.
  • Battery Recycling.
  • Cartridge recycling and
  • Industrial waste recycling.

According to experts, all sorts of used scrap metal maybe profitable. The waste and recycling sector is a broad one though, and there are lots of areas that remain unexploited.

            

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Start a Matches Manufacturing business

                   

Matches (Matchsticks) are a very handy tool used in starting a fire. They are used in the kitchen to light ovens, kerosene stoves and cookers. Other application involves starting a fireplace, industrial burners, camp fires or to light candles. Matchsticks are made from plastic material, wood or cardboard strips.

Matches are sold in quantity. There’s the wooden type, which are packaged in boxes. There are also paper matches, which are clustered in rows stapled into matchbooks.

Because matches are used in almost every home and every industrial establishment, the demand for matches is always high.  This means there is huge profit potential in the matchstick production business.

Billions of matchboxes are used all over the world in a day for different purposes. These include: to light cooking gas, fireplace, incense sticks or cigarettes etc. This creates a huge demand for a matchstick manufacturing business. The production of wooden matchsticks is a great option to select. Any individual can initiate a matchstick manufacturing business on a small scale with maintaining strictly safety measures. Matchsticks are a consumer durable product and the demand is growing day-by-day.

Manufacturing  Process

The manufacturing process consists of several stages:

  1. Preparing of wood – Wood is cut , into small matches, soaked in fire retardant ammonium phosphate and left to dry. Striking end of the stick is then soaked in hot paraffin wax. This will provide small amount of fuel to the wood, enabling it to burn more easily.
  2. After matches are transferred to the conveyor belt that is filled with holes in which sticks are inserted. Then they are carried to the tanks that contain two mix of chemicals. One to serve as a base, and one as a finalized layer of match head. Conveyors then move matches away from the tanks, allowing them to get dry.
  3. Packaging and storing.

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Wheat Farming

 
           

Wheat is an annual grass with basic, erect, hollow or pithy culms. The wheat plant can grow up to 1,2m tall. The wheat leaves are flat and narrow while they can extend up to 38cm long. The spikes are long, slender, dorsally compressed and somewhat flattened.

Temperature

Warm temperatures are suitable for summer wheat (22° to 34°C) and cool temperatures are suitable for winter wheat (5° to 25°C). An ideal climate for planting wheat can be described as cool and moist, followed by a warm dry season for harvesting.

Soil Requirements

Well – drained fertile loamy to sandy loam with pH of 6.0 to 7.5. Soil temperatures of less than 5°C are not suitable for seed germination. Wheat is adversely affected by acidic soil.

Soil Preparation

Soil tillage is one of the important production practices over which the farmer has full control. The effect of tillage cannot be predicted for any season. Therefore, the farmer has to plan his actions to solve specific problems. Unnecessary cultivation’s cost money, time and effort, while valuable soil water is lost in the process. Such cultivation also cause re compaction that has to be addressed later. Minimum tillage (75 to 130mm deep) deep tillage (150 to 300 mm) or no till can be practiced. This will also depend on the soil type, moisture availability, type of cultivar and the previous crop planted.

Planting

Wheat is planted mainly between Mid – April and Mid June in the in the winter rainfall areas (Western & Southern Cape). Also between Mid – May and the end of July in the summer rainfall areas (Eastern Free State). The seed should be planted evenly and shallowly in a moist, firm seedbed. Germination, emergence and development of adventitious roots occur within 4 to 6 weeks after planting under proper soil conditions. The required spacing in the row is about 30cm and 50 to 100cm between the rows, depending on the available soil moisture or the farming method.

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Start a Cosmetic Business

        

When starting your cosmetic / beauty products business, you need to have a “niche” and that niche cannot be organic or natural. There are many untapped niches in the beauty industry for instance:

  • Skincare for the elderly.
  • Skincare for certain types of athletes (swimmers, runners etc).
  • Skincare for teenage boys/girls.

You need to find the niche that works for you and then target that niche with your unique brand.

The cosmetics / beauty industry is in  a state of flux. Traditional brands ( Revlon, L’Oreal, Lancóme, etc) are viewed as old. The consumer is looking for more holistic and healing benefits from their skin care products. They are no longer content with just the appearance benefits offered by traditional brands. Today’s consumer is more informed and more inquisitive about the benefits of their personal care products. Their skin products needs to protect them from the sun damaging rays. Also moisturize their skin and reduce the effects of aging.

Manufacturing

You need to decide whether you will be producing your beauty/cosmetic products yourself in your own lab or home lab, using a contract manufacturer or opting for private label products.

The cosmetics industry is one of the growing industries in the country with a number of industries. Unisex beauty cosmetics with many branches, and other small businesses have joined the industry. Despite the increase in cosmetic industries, customer demands are not fully met due to the increasingly growing population. Poor delivery of cosmetics to customers also add to the problem.

Cosmetic and beauty products include but not limited to: perfumes, make up items, hair care products, face creams, lotions, deodorants nail polishes etc. The cosmetic industry is one of those businesses which are not affected by economic downfalls or unpredictable incomes as every woman and some men use some type of cosmetic product to maintain a healthy and fresh look.

    

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TOURISM – STILL PROFITABLE?

         

Tourism refers to all activities related to the short -term movement of people to locations away from where they reside. Tourism is one of the largest industries and the economies of many nations are driven, to a large extent, by their tourist trade.

Tourism remains a key driver of South Africa’s national economy and contributes to job creation. The Tourism industry is a major contributor to the South African economy and employment of citizens. The Tourism sector contributes about 9% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The Tourism sector can also contribute positively to youth employment targets and, importantly, also to transformation. This is because it has shown to absorb higher numbers of women than other sectors. Research by WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) reveals that female share of employment in this industry in South Africa is 53,7%. This is higher than the proportion of total female employment in the economy (43,7%). A trend echoed in 10 other G20 countries.

Tourism Industry Sectors:

Transportation – Airline, Car Rental, Water Transport, Coach Services (travel) Railway.

Accommodation – Hotels, Shared Accommodation, Hostels, Camping, Bed & Breakfast, Cruises, Time Share.

Food & Beverage –  Restaurants, Catering, Bars & Cafés, Nightclubs.

Entertainment – Casino, Tourist Information, Tourist Guides & Tours.

Connected Industries – Financial Services, Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Online Travel Agencies, Tourism Organizations, Educational.

Tourism Equity Fund

The Travel & Tourist department announced the creation of an equity fund. The equity fund aims to support all small – scale stakeholders in the tourism industry. The travel *& tourism sector continues to reel as a result of the global Covid – 19 pandemic.

The Tourism Equity Fund (TEF) will provide financial assistance to majority black – owned enterprises. The R1,2 billion fund, financed by Government and SA major banks, is now accessible to disadvantaged travel & tourism operators.

       

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Watermelon Farming

               

Watermelons are a member of the Cucurbitacceae family which includes squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, muskmelons, and gourds. Individual plants produce both male and female flowers and fruit sizes varies from 2 to 14kg, depending on variety. However, seedless varieties will require pollinators. Watermelon leaves are dark green, with prominent veins. They have three large lobes, each further divided into small lobes. Watermelon leaves are heart shaped with three to seven lobes per leaf and are produced on trailing vines.

Cultivars

Selecting the best watermelon variety is the most important decision made by any producer. Planting a variety watermelons that is not suited for the available market and the particular production situation leads to lower profits or possibly crop failure. In addition to market acceptability, a variety must have an acceptable yield, be adapted to the production area and have the highest level of needed pest resistance available.

The major watermelon varieties and types produced are Charleston, Gray Strains, Crimson Sweet, Jubilee, All sweet, Royal Sweet, Sangria, Triploid Seedless, and Black Diamond types.

Temperatures

Watermelons are sensitive to cold temperatures and even a mild frost can severely damage the crop. The best average temperature range for watermelon production during the growing season is between 18°C and 35°C. Temperatures above 35°C or below 10°C will slow the growth and maturation of the crop.

Soil Requirements

Watermelons row best on non-saline sandy loam or silt loam soils. Light – textured fields warm up faster in the spring and are therefore favored for early production. Very sandy soils have limited water – holding capacities and must be carefully irrigated and fertilized to allow for high yield potential. The soil should have a pH of ,8 to 6,6.

Planting

In the winter rainfall area watermelons are planted in September and October, in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Lowveld from June to August, and in the rest of the country from August to October. The crop matures 3 months after planting, and the yield varies from five to 72 t/h.a.

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Lavender Production

             

Lavender is a perennial bushy shrub growing 0,3 to 1,2m high. True lavender has a compact and rounded growth form. The aromatic evergreen leaves are completely opposite and up to 5cm long. Flowering occurs in the summer and flowers form interrupted spikes and have a very sweet fragrance.

LAVENDER – TEMPERATURE

The Lavender product can tolerate moderate frost and drought. Spike lavender cannot tolerate frost. All lavenders are sensitive to high humidity. High summer temperatures adversely affect oil quality.

Because there are such variable types of lavender, some grow well in different climatic zones from cold to subtropical. Different varieties should be tested to see which will grow best in each micro-climate.

LAVENDER – SOIL

Lavender requires well-drained light, sandy, or sandy loam, or gravelly soils nin full sun. Low- fertility soils are still suitable. Soil pH should be between 5,8 and 8,3. Too moist soils will cause poor plant growth, diseases or kill the plant.English lavenders prefer alkaline soils, whereas the lavandin varieties require slightly more acidic soils.

LAVENDER – PLANTING

The Lavender product is normally planted in row widths of 1,2 to 2,0m apart, with 30 to 60cm between plants. This gives a plant density of 8000 to 28000 plant per hectare. Spacing is done according to available moisture and species, and cultivar size as well as mechanical cultivation and harvesting.

Higher densities mean higher establishment costs but also higher early yields. Plants also tend to support each other, so are more stable and last longer. A good vigorous plantation should be ready for harvest in the second year. Lavender plants can last for 10 to 15 years or longer if managed correctly. Seedlings should be hardened off before being put into the land.

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Sustainable Basil Farming

       

Basil is an erect herbaceous annual plant, or sometimes grown as a short- lived perennial in some areas. It grows into a bushy shape up to about 50cm tall and some varieties may even grow taller. The stems are herbaceous in young tissue. However, these become woody as the plant matures. Basil Farming has good returns and easy to grow.

BASIL FARMING – PROPAGATION

Propagation is from seed but cuttings can also be planted. Commercial growers will plant basil seed by direct sowing or what is more common is to make seedlings in a protected environment or greenhouse and plant these out after three or four weeks.

BASIL FARMING – PLANTING

Planting of basil seedlings is done by hand and mechanically. Direct sow 10cm in the row to ensure a full stand of basil. Thin out later to the desire plant density. Plants should be spaced30cm apart in rows that are 50cm apart. This is between 65 000 and 67 000 basil plants per hectare. Some commercial farmers increase plant density between 80 000 to 100 000 plants per hectare.

 BASIL FARMING – IRRIGATION

The Basil plant is very sensitive to moisture stress so it is very important to keep soil at the optimum capacity advised for the type of soil. Install moisture readers for constant monitoring. Stress will bring on flower, which is detrimental to production. Basil can be irrigated by sprinkler or drip. Drip is, however, best as it keeps the leaves dry. Wet foliage can cause fungus growth, which damages the leaves. Depending on the weather and temperature basil can grow on about 40mm of irrigation per week.

BASIL FARMING – GROWTH

From the time the basil seeds are planted to when the first harvest can be done is about ten weeks. Thereafter the basil can be harvested twice more. Cut the basil 15cm above the ground allowing enough stem for re – growth. 

BASIL FARMING – FERTILIZATION

Do not over fertilize as this will hasten maturity and flowering. Fertilize according to soil analysis done on the soil prior to planting. About 200 to 300kg of 3.1.5 when plants are about 20cm high should be ample until the first harvest.

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BUTTERNUT FARMING

     

Butternut is a tasty, orange squash that is very popular in our South African gardens and kitchens. Also in oven roasts, rocket salads, as a mash, or even as a creamy soup.

Crop Potential

Farmers growing butternuts from seedlings can get around 20t – 30t per hectare with appropriate spacing and irrigation. Harvesting takes place a month after the fruits have set and once the fruits show hardening of the outer skins. The butternut fruits are harvested before they are fully ripe in order to ensure maximum yield.

Butternuts can be stored for up to 90 days in rooms away from direct sunlight and with good ventilation between the fruits. To ensure a long storage life, it is important to cure the fruits. This can be done on the field for a period of about 12 days in warm weather without rain. Or in rooms using artificial heating to ensure temperatures of around 26°C and humidity of 78 to 82%.

Soil

The crop can be propagated in many types of soil but performs best in organically rich soil with a pH of between 5.5 and 6.6. It is essential to transplant the seedling to well- drained soil. Clay soil can be a suitable medium but water logging can lead to lower crop yield and dirty fruits. The plant is sensitive to frost and it is best to avoid planting it on fields at risk of experiencing frost.

Spacing

It is possible to grow up to 30 000 plants per hectare. Spacing of 30 to 40cm should be   maintained between the butternut seedlings and 1,2m between rows.

Irrigation

The plant has a deep root system, making it necessary to water deep and well. A certain level of drought stress can be handled, but it is best to keep the soil moist. Sufficient irrigation is needed during the growth period to ensure sufficient water around the root Zone for optimal nutrient uptake and good fruit setting.

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