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Nqubela Primary school in Tokoza saw Positive Cycle implementing a well planned budget, maximising potential for growth and production as well as learning. A group from Deloitte lent their hands and in exchange learned something about peri urban agriculture and the remarkable plants and methods that make it viable. Food growing projects are all the more worthwhile and a little investment can be made to go a long way, when the correct knowledge of soil and plants are applied. Correct methodology dramatically reduces the need for additional soil inputs at a later stage, which are inevitably costly. Secure responsible investment in microeconomic endeavour like cash crop growing could mean the future security of our nation as a whole. As a company Positive Cycle pride ourselves on getting it right. The installed components at Nqubela Primary's vegetable garden are well tested and really work. Simple devices like the mini hoop house and the ingeniously constructed shade net tunnel affectionately dubbed 'the big blue spinach machine' make an important difference to the capacity of a piece of ground like the one at Nqubela to produce high yields or large quantities of harvestable crops. We also installed our bird repelling mirror stands, which are a rethink of the old 'scare crow' principle with mirrors creating a dazzle of light that puts birds off the berry patch quite effectively.

After the flurry of activity brought about by the Deloitte team and their instruction at the hands of Positive Cycle, Petrus was the man on the scene taking responsibility for the vegetable garden. It is worth realising that all the funding in the world, all the best intentions of the sponsors, are not as crucial to a successful project as the enthusiasm and determination of the people on the ground, the real beneficiaries of all the effort. Without people like Petrus to care for the gardens, nothing would get off the ground. We are not only planting seeds at projects like Nqubela, we are creating sustainable futures by planting knowedge and experience in people like Petrus.

To see simple innovations like the mini hoop house working in the field is extremely gratifying. The opportunity to equip people with tools that really make a difference is what drives Positive Cycle. Our techniques work, and that means that South African emerging market farmers have a chance to succeed where their situation used to look hopeless.

Sponsored by Deloitte