Tropical cyclone Idai has left a trail of devastation in southern Africa. In Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, around two million people are in urgent need of assistance. There is a lack of drinking water, food and medicines. Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi are among the poorest countries in the world. Where there used to be frequent drought, the few fertile fields are now under water. Rivers burst their banks, flash floods and landslides threaten settlements.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost everything. The situation is dramatic.
The ambassador for Food Security in Africa, Dr. Brylyne Chitsunge of the African Parliament in Johannesburg has asked for support from Peter Schrum as President of the BRM (Federal Association for Regenerative Mobility e.V.).
Fast, unbureaucratic help was required. With Peter Schrum, the phone was no longer quiet until all necessary steps for a first aid delivery were initiated.
SUNfarming and our South African Food & Energy partners from CFAM Technologies today ship the first 10 tons of food aid to Mozambique. Transport from South Africa is organized by Coca Cola and distributed by Mozambique’s Ministry for Disaster Management to children and the elderly in the crisis areas.
The aid package, funded by SUNfarming, CFAM and Botselo Holdings, consists of the dry product Pre-Cooked Porridge, which consists of corn, soy, grains, minerals and vitamins. With only 14 euro cents per day, two whole-meal meals ensure the life of a person.
As a SUNfarming Group and BRM, we are happy to provide the needy with fast food emergency aid“, explains Peter Schrum, President of BRM and SUNfarming Chairman. „We have already developed the first porridge whole-foods based on our Food & Energy Public Private Partnership project launched at KfW / DEG since 2013, at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. In addition to the vegetable and fish production under the solar modules in the training center, SF Porridge was provided in the townships to provide basic services to our staff and trainees. The existing partnership with CFAM Technologies, led by Prof LJ Grobler, has enabled our fast and efficient relief effort to be delivered to Mozambique. Today, through years of experience and networks in Africa, we are able to provide large quantities of whole foods in 1 and 10 kilo packages for disaster areas and the needy at very low cost in the short term.
Our first aid delivery is leaving South Africa today. 10 tonnes of whole foods ensure survival for 10,000 children for three weeks.
Should additional funding be available, we will immediately send more trucks with food to Mozambique within a few days, “so Peter Schrum.
The SUNfarming/Alensys Solar Training Center South Africa is now in operation since more than 5 years and was realised within a PPP Public Private Partnership program supported by the German DEG/KfW. The most important partner is the North-West University in Potchefstroom.
The SUNfarming Solar Food & Energy Training Centre, already in the 3rd year of operation after completion of the Public Private Partnership, offers training opportunities for students, electricians, teachers from high schools as well as start-up companies and municipal representatives from different regions and departments in South Africa. The training centre, continuously in further expansion for more training opportunities, is in full time operation and delivers fresh vegetables to the North West University Campus, a food store in Potchefstroom (Pick&Pay) as well as several catering service companies.
All SF bio food products with grade A quality are supplied to the prime quality customer Pick&Pay, all secondary quality products are directly marketed by the local SUNfarming trainees and employees in the township locations of Potchefstroom. With this, the employees earn some extra money and thus become small entrepreneurs, partially with own employers already.
The training facility was transferred to our expert skills transfer company SUNCybernetics PTY LTD (SUNCy), under the lead of North West University doctoral student Faure van Schalkwyk. This training company is exclusively used for know-how and skills transfer in the fields of solar technology and food production, operating on a cost covering, non-profit base to ensure constant high quality trainings.
After 6 years of experience, we can confirm the effectiveness of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) with its cooperative structures like DEG/KfW, and German Medium Size Companies, like SUNfarming and Alensys, for a continuous education and training program, as long as the PPP investment is kept in the hand of the German Medium Size Company.
More than 1,000 training sessions have been held so far at the SF Solar Training Center and SF Food & Energy Training Center for participants from across Africa.
Please see our first Solar Training Center marketing video and what participants say:
Newest marketing video Solar Training Center South Africa
For the first time, SUNfarming has applied for an Intersolar Award, the greater the jubilation was to win the Award in the category “Outstanding Solar Projects”.
The jury was impressed by the global development potential as well as the great social benefits, including the creation of new jobs. With the aim of producing food and energy economically, while at the same time resource-saving in one and the same place, 15 agro-solar greenhouses have been built on the campus of North-West University in South Africa. The project shows how photovoltaics are integrated into agro-solar substructures of large food and energy systems. With its professional knowledge the North-West University is an indispensable, operational partner in the Food & Energy project.
The Intersolar Award: Powering the future with innovation!
In the 2017 jubilee year, 133 projects from 21 countries were sent for the coveted Intersolar Award. One of Intersolar’s goals is to promote the industry’s innovative power. For this reason the organizers award the award every year. For 10 years, the world’s largest solar energy company has offered solar companies a unique platform to demonstrate their innovative power and to stand out from the competition.
Peter Schrum, principal shareholder of SUNfarming, thanks his project partners (DEG / KfW and North-West University) and his team with a call: “To multiply Food & Energy also in other countries, we need technically savvy Senior Experts who do not want to retire and want to share their knowledge with others. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. ”
David Morr, SUNfarming Projectmanager International Projects, to the question whether the project is also a matter of heart: “This is the madness! For 5 years we are fighting for our product Food & Energy to carry it out into the world and now to receive an Award is simply top.”
Mr. Senzeni Zokwana, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of South Africa, together with a 30-member delegation, visited SUNfarming Food & Energy Project on the Campus of North-West University in Potchefstroom South Africa.
The Minister calls the SUNfarming Food & Energy Project, a joint project of SUNfarming GmbH, North-West University and DEG / KfW on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, as a future-oriented development for agriculture in South Africa.
SUNfarming Food & Energy Project allows to produce food and solar energy at the same time through unique agro-solar greenhouses. Training in food production with water-saving droplet irrigation creates sustainable jobs. The Food & Energy Project is the first of its kind in Africa and the goal of SUNfarming and the NWU is to bring this project to all universities and schools in Africa. SUNfarming and the NWU see themselves as a nucleus to support other universities in research and education with their expertise.
Councillor Kgotso Khumalo Executive Mayor for Tlokwe municipality: “I am excited about the project and the potential it has for our municipality and I want to pledge our full support to this project.”
“The project provides an opportunity to grow affordable and nutritious food in local municipalities. This is an opportunity to effectively address household food and nutrition insecurity. This is innovative technology for agriculture and we want to see this replicated in other parts of the country as it effectively deals with the issue of climate change and the scarcity of water and land”, said Minister Zokwana.
“Agriculture is the answer to many problems. We need a doctor or dentist or lawyer several times a year, but we need a farmer at least three times a day. We need to strive for sustainable methods of agricultural production. What I have seen today is the future of agriculture, I congratulate you on this incredible initiative and innovation,” so Zokwana.
This year, SUNfarming presented itself as a partner, together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development (BMZ), to the 400,000 trade fair visitors.
The general interest in SUNfarming as a project developer for capital investors as well as in the realization and active support of PV projects for commercial and private power plants was as always great. This year, we were able to successfully present our unique “Food & Energy” concept, a combination of solar energy production and food production. With the
experience of more than 1,000 hectares of solar projects implemented worldwide, SUNfarming developed the unique Food & Energy concept. In addition to the benefits of solar energy, the key elements are food production, job creation, training and water management. The SUNfarming “5 in 1” model contributes actively to the sustainable improvement of people’s living conditions, particularly in resource-poor areas or refugee regions.
Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller, has put more support in the refugee policy for the countries of origin and was very interested in finding out more about our Food & Energy concept.
Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, showed also great interest in cooperation in the area of Food & Energy as an approach to combating the causes of flight. There will also be concrete discussions on projects in the solar PV sector in developing and emerging countries.
The Minister of the Environment of Qatar and the Agricultural Minister of Mauritius took the opportunity to get information about possibilities of cooperating with our competent project leaders.
Madagascar’s Embassy Adviser, the Ambassador of Guatemala and the Bolivian Ambassador, as well as a delegation from the Nigerian Embassy, were also interested guests.
Representing the Embassy of Paraguay, Mr Maidana, responsible for Economic Affairs, visited us and the embassy council of the Republic of El Salvador also got to know our stand.
The already implemented Food & Energy project in South Africa was presented by SUNfarming at the public event “A world without hunger is possible”, a special initiative of the BMZ.
(PPProject Alensys AG, supported by the KfW/DEG on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development). For the first time the SUNfarming Food & Energy training concept was realized by our partner company ALENSYS with the support of KfW DEG.
Food & Energy Project provides jobs and education, food and energy and infrastructure where they are currently needed. European technologies and through PPP partnership with industry, long-term reliable management of systems, secure investments.
Delegations from all over Africa visited the SUNfarming Food & Energy Training Centre in South Africa.
On our delegation day on the 03rd of May 2016, enthusiastic professors, politicians and businessmen from all over Africa, f. e. Kenya, Botswana, Ghana and Zambia, have visited the SUNfarming Food & Energy Training Centre on the Campus of the North-West University Potchefstroom in South Africa.
The SUNfarming Food & Energy project shows the unique chance of cooperation about the land borders away. All delegates showed big interest in the possibility of a partnership of your university in this unique project.
Prof. Frik van Niekerk, Vice President of the North-West University, stressed the wish of his university to want to serve as a nucleus for the fair knowledge exchange between the involved universities. Master students of all African countries are educated in the Food & Energy train-the-trainer courses in Potchefstroom by Alensys and SUNfarming specialists. This knowledge the new Master Trainer can pass in their country. First Expressions of Interest have been successfully signed.