Coach House Geography

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Good example of New farming practices

Posted by Lindy on January 11, 2010


A combined project between the hoteliers around Victoria Falls in Zambia and an innovative research team at a university in South Africa have combined to turn the lives of poor local farmers into high value, top quality producers of fresh food for the local tourist agency.

For example, Fines Mulindi, a smallscale farmer in Zambia’s drought-prone Southern Province, steps carefully between neat rows of onions and okra ready for harvest. Tapping into the lucrative hotel catering supply chain, she has avoided a market dilemma facing millions of farmers across Africa – excessive supply of a few vegetables during certain seasons, leading to heart-breaking wastage and low prices. Backed by financial, educational and technological support, Mulindi is one of over 400 farmers supplying a wealthy neighbour: the five-star Royal Livingstone Hotel.

In 2006 two top-class hotels, built by the hotel chain Sun International, introduced a business model to replace imported fresh vegetables with those grown locally. This market-oriented enterprise, intended to cut hotel costs and source fresher produce, has also resulted in quality production education for local farmers. The research institute looked for the varieties of seeds that gave the right quality and could be produced year round in the cliate conditions. Greenhouses and drip irrigation have both been invested in to extend the season and make the best use of scare water. For The Nsongwe group of widows, for example, reinvested US$4,000 of their profits in drip irrigation technology and last year earned an estimated US$21,000

Now local farmers produce over 70% of the fresh produce for these hotels and the scheme has been exported to other tourist centres including neighbouring Botswana.

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