Mar 22, 2023
Boland College plays its part in food security & training future, sustainable farmers

Photo caption: The official ribbon cutting of ribbon and unveiling of the greenhouse at Boland College.

From left to right: Mrs Nomalizo Mpati (Acting: Deputy Principal Academic), Mr Brian Madalane  (Acting DHET Regional Manager), Zibonge Mayile (Boland College alumni student and class assistant), Mr Charles Goodwin (Principal, Boland College), Ms Orlean de Jager (SRC President), Mr Samuel Zungu (Deputy Director General of Higher Education & Training), Ms Sindiswa Lingela (College Council Chairperson), Mr Vincent Uys (Greenhouse Project Manager), Mr Ebrahim Peters (former Boland College Acting Principal), Mr Derrick Matthee (Acting Campus Manager: Worcester Campus) and Mr Manuel Jackson (Stellenbosch University Water Institute)

The climate-smart option of growing produce in greenhouses should be scaled up to meet the challenge of food security in South Africa and Africa- this is the focus of the Boland College Greenhouse project.

The official launch of the Boland College Greenhouse, which took place on Wednesday, 15 March 2023, was celebrated with an abundant display of freshly grown cucumbers, green beans, red onions, pepper dews, and cocktail tomatoes – the produce of several horticulture piloting activities in the greenhouse over the past few months.

The greenhouse is part of an ongoing collaboration between Stellenbosch University (SU) and the Maastricht School of Management (MSM) to strengthen the skills of TVET staff and students for optimising water usage and climate-smart agriculture in South Africa. The project forms part of the Orange Knowledge programme and is funded by the Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC), through the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Boland College Principal, Mr. Charles Goodwin said, “Agriculture is a niche area for Boland College as it is strategically aligned to the growth of the agriculture sector as a means to achieve rural development and address the triple threat of unemployment, inequality, and poverty and promote food security. Boland College is very proud of our strides in advancing high-tech climate-smart agriculture and the development of emerging farmers and women in agriculture.”

The new greenhouse at Boland College forms part of the region’s partnership support structure. This structure will, in turn, be supported by a South African-Dutch Triple Helix Platform, which includes stakeholders from the education, private and public sectors.

“The Nuffic project is a major success in the simulation of a high-tech greenhouse environment to the students and it remains a privilege for us to showcase this amazing project with our partners. We are excited to be a centre of excellence in the Boland region for horticulture and to be a game changer in training future farmers,” said Mr. Vincent Uys, Project Manager of the Boland College Greenhouse.

We are very excited to see what the future holds with the project and the positive impact it will make in our rural communities.