Equipped with a starter kit for your own vegetable garden (watering can, soil, bucket, vegetable plants), our first trainees left our training 4 weeks ago with a certificate that they had successfully attended the training in vegetable growing and healthy eating.
This week we visited her at home to see whether what we had learned could also be implemented at home - and we are thrilled! All of them have created a small vegetable garden, built a fence, the plants are strong and, thanks to good care, grow into healthy vegetables.
Our project shows that with help for self-help and our trainings, we have given people in the townships of South Africa hope that everyone can contribute something to improve their own living conditions. Parents can be a role model for their children, children learn that it pays to be proactive and how important a healthy diet is.
Pictures often say more than words:
The trainings are part of the SUNfarming Vitality Porridge Project in South Africa. The PPP project is funded by KfW / DEG. The project is supported in the organization by develoPPP, June & Andrew Mlangeni Foundation, german cooperation, F.E.E.D. (Food-Energy-Education-Development e.V.)..
SUNfarming Vitality Porridge Project in South Africa is a PPP project and is funded by KfW/DEG. The project is supported in the organization by develoPPP, June & Andrew Mlangeni Foundation, german cooperation, F.E.E.D. (Food-Energy-Education-Development e.V.).
Multiple award-winning SUNfarming Training Centers
More than 1,000 training courses have been held since 2013 at the SF Solar Training Center and SF Food & Energy Training Center for participants from all over Africa. With the help of KfW/DEG, SUNfarming / Alensys successfully implemented the Solar Training Center at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa, as part of a PPP Public Private Partnership Program in 2013. In 2015 the solar training center was expanded by 15 agro-solar greenhouses to become the SF Food & Energy Training Center. The training centers, which are constantly being expanded even after the funding period has expired, are in full-time operation and, in addition to solar power for the Campus, also supply fresh vegetables to the North-West University Campus, a grocery store in Potchefstroom (Pick & Pay) and several catering facilities.
Fresh vegetables are important for a healthy diet, but people often lack the opportunities to grow them, the money to buy them or the firewood to prepare them. Together with our technical business partners in South Africa, we have developed a vitality-strengthening grain-based dry food (Vitality Porridge). Vitality Porridge not only increases performance, but also contains medicinal herbs from our own cultivation that are known for their positive effects on health. The Vitality Porridge Project offers immediate help against hunger and malnutrition. The project also provides sustainable help through the certified training courses in vegetable growing and healthy eating. These courses are presented to the local population – specifically to people who are without work. Labor is required for food production including in the Food & Energy centers. Accredited Agri-SETA trainers in organic vegetable cultivation provided by SUNfarming South Africa take on the training of these workers. In this way, we are creating new jobs. Our trainees are much better equipped to find work in the agricultural sector after they have completed our training courses.
The courses offered in vegetable growing and healthy eating are controlled by the South African authority SAQA (South African Qualification Authority). The certificates awarded at the end represent a nationally recognized qualification which facilitates entry into the labor market.
The first training took place on September 14th in the local parish. The parishes support the project comprehensively by scouting participants and by providing parish gardens for the practical training. As a result, the church garden should continue to be cultivated by community members and serve as a source of food for the poorest.
So far, over 20 schools with over 10,000 students and a minimum of 60,000 family members have taken part in the project. Up to 300 people who have become unemployed will be trained in the training program. The project offers the 60 best candidates (possible future entrepreneurs) further training on the agricultural property provided by SUNfarming in Potchefstroom. As a licensed SUNfarming franchiser, the majority of them should help to supply supermarkets with organic vegetables and herbs.
Theoretical and practical training includes everything that is necessary for a successful harvest, from soil preparation to sowing, irrigation and pest control. The gardens laid out by the first group are expanded and maintained by subsequent groups. In the course of the growing season, the following groups can learn pest control and pruning in practice. All trainees receive a file with the training material. On the last day of the course, each trainee receives the nationally recognized training certificate from the SAQA (South African Qualification Authority) for successful participation in a small handover ceremony.
As an immediate aid, Vitality Porridge will be distributed to school children as a daily vitamin and nutrient-rich supplement to school meals during the project period. In addition, the children receive a 5 kg bag to take home for their families. Since there are often not enough plates in schools, the Vitality Porridge can also be diluted and consumed more like a milkshake. The children love it all the more because they say it tastes like a vanilla shake.
The course participants can also take a 5kg bag of Vitality Porridge home with them. The joy is great, so is the need. Many ask whether further donations and training can be expected.The school programs supported by KfW/DEG are intended to tackle malnutrition, one of the biggest development problems in African countries, at the root. Through training courses directly in the production facilities and in cooperation with the parishes, jobs and sustainable future prospects are created for the people in Africa.
“The medicinal herbs for Vitality Porridge are already being grown, dried and bottled by trainees as multiple cultures (intercropping) together with various types of vegetables in our Food & Energy Training Centers. The extruders provided on the Food & Energy systems for the production of Vitality Porridge have been technically enlarged so that they can produce up to 200,000 food servings per day, ”explains Peter Schrum, SUNfarming founder and main shareholder.
"We would like to express our thanks to KfW/DEG without their support we would not have been able to implement the emergency food aid and training programs in the Vitality Porridge Project," continues Peter Schrum.
The Grobia facility is located near the town of Sierakow, which is known for its extensive leisure infrastructure and has numerous tourist resorts on the Jaroszewskie and Lutomskie lakes. The patronage city of Sierakow is the city of Schönberg in Germany.
The second investment is the Wolkowe A project (0.999 MW), which was built in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship in central Poland.
The Polish auction system for the award of contracts and a domestic policy based on renewable energies enable SUNfarming as a medium-sized company to support the expansion of renewable energies and to make profitable investments in Poland.
Photovoltaics is becoming more and more important among renewable energy sources in Poland, as it is the cheapest energy that can be obtained with existing technologies. In addition, the use of fallow land and soils with poor soil quality protects agricultural arable land.
On an area of 25,000 square meters, the latest SUNfarming Food & Energy Training Center offers highly interesting prospects for the region in terms of development policy. Near the Syrian border, connected to the Cevdetiye refugee camp in Osmaniye, thousands of refugees and people from the region will find training and work in the coming years.
“Our goal is 1000 certified participants in Food & Energy by the end of November 2020, explains Peter Schrum, founder of the SUNfarming Group and main shareholder. “The aim of the project is to train entrepreneurs in the organic food sector and as photovoltaic technicians for renewable energies. This Food & Energy Training Project is intended to serve as a blue print for further development investments in Turkey and Syria in the future. The project is helping Syria and Turkey as well“, so Peter Schrum continues.
SUNfarming Food & Energy is a PPP project in cooperation with DEG / KfW.
Our PV open space systems offer many plants and animals urgently needed living space that has been lost due to intensively used agricultural areas. Our perennial wild herb meadows make an important contribution to promoting biodiversity.According to the Biodiversity Council, the extinction of pollinator insects threatens global food production with a value of 235 to 577 billion dollars per year. Out of 8 million insects, 1 million are threatened with extinction.
Extensive permanent green areas are created under the modules of our PV open-air systems, offering habitats for many animal and plant species that have already disappeared from intensively used agricultural areas. More insects mean more breeding birds. Here you can find food and e.g. Also sitting on the module rows and security fences. We do not fertilize or use any pesticides and there is also no machine tillage, factors that can negatively influence the fertility of the soil and the water balance. At the same time, the wild herb meadows promote humus formation, and the humus in turn binds carbon dioxide (CO2).
We work together with shepherds who like to use the fenced PV systems for their sheep. This summer there are 1200 sheep that keep the vegetation between the module rows short. The security fence offers protection from wolves. The module rows also offer weather protection in the rain or provide shade in summer.
“We are delighted that despite the restrictions associated with the corona pandemic, we are contributing to clean energy supplies in Poland with two additional megawatt PV systems. Despite the difficult communication, the professional and intensive cooperation of everyone involved made this possible", explains Martin Tauschke, Managing Director of SUNfarming GmbH and SUNfarming Polska sp.z.o.o..
The Polish auctioning system of procurement and an internal policy based on renewable energies allow SUNfarming as a medium-sized company to support the expansion of renewable energies and to make profitable investments in Poland. SUNfarming started the construction of the first 4 megawatt solar parks in Poland at the end of December 2018. By winning the tender, all PV parks benefit from a 15-year "contract for differences" with the Polish Energy Agency URE, which guarantees a fixed feed-in tariff for each kWh produced by paying the difference to the market price.
Photovoltaics is becoming increasingly important among renewable energy sources in Poland as it is the cheapest energy that can be obtained with existing technologies. In addition, the use of fallow land and soils with low soil quality spares agricultural arable land.