Market gives small-scale farmers a boost

The Mowbray Market takes places one a month.

The monthly Mowbray Market is a chance for emerging entrepreneurs and small-scale farmers to sell their goods and produce.

The market is supported by the Trust of Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) in Mowbray, the Rural Women’s Assembly in South Africa and the Mawubuye Land Rights Forum.

At the sixth market, which was held at Gordon’s Gym in Mowbray on Saturday August 5, you could buy fruit and vegetables from the five-women Suurbrak Aquaponics farming team, fish and traditional foods from Blinkwaters Cooperative in Buffelsjagbaai, indigenous and traditional herbs from the Khoen-Khoen Hub in Robertson, endemic plants and seedlings grown in Genadendal and chillies grown by a farmer from the Mopani Farmers’ Association in Limpopo.

TCOE supported the work of often poorly resourced black and women farmers who struggled to access local markets to sell their produce, said the trust’s Esley Philander

“TCOE launched this market to strengthen local food systems as an alternative to the monopoly of supermarkets/retailers offerings in urban areas, link local farmers with consumers/access to markets and to encourage food sovereignty as well as the farming practice of agroecology (which ensures that the produce grown is free from hazardous pesticides and other toxic agricultural chemicals),” she said.

Tamani Chilala, the owner of Betty’s Chillis in Mowbray, started her range of home-made relishes after losing her work during the pandemic. She uses locally sourced ingredients to make her range of relishes.

“This is a traditional recipe that has been passed down by my Malawian mother. This business is how I sustain myself,” she said.

Sharon Faduku, from Give Her Hope, a social empowerment ministry, said they used markets to sell their range of handmade natural soap. They provide training and empowerment to disenfranchised women mainly from Salt River and Observatory.

TCOE’s Robert Andrews said: “It is not always easy to build sustainable markets in rural areas. We bring farmers/producers in from across the city from Robertson to Elim and even Zoar,” he said.

Local vendors who are interested in taking part in the market can contact Ms Philander at 021 685 3033 or 061 643 4249.

Betty’s Chillis owner Tamani Chilala.
Sharon Faduku from Give Her Hope.
From left, are Trust of Community Outreach and Education member Robert Andrews with Natasha Louw, Mary Marthinus and Reinette Heunis from Suurbrak Aquaponics.
Mariam Edwards buys some fish.
From left, are Keisha Leonard, Lee-Anne Visser and Sarah Niemand from Blinkwaters Cooperative.