LAC spices up the future of farming

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Corné Liebenberg, the marketing director of Laeveld Agrochem (LAC), says the company foresees great potential for spice farming in South Africa. He believes it offers an ideal oppor- tunity – not only for existing commercial farmers but also for the development of small-scale emerging farmers – and, as such, will assist in addressing the country’s high unemployment.

Cultivating spices forms part of LAC’s comprehensive plan to address emerging farmers’ nutritional, health, and economic needs. The objective of this project is to produce food, reduce hunger, and also to create jobs and agri-preneurs. Most of all, it allows everyone to fulfil their dreams within the agricultural domain.

The plan encompasses 4 key areas.

1. Nutrient-rich food supplements for self-consumption: This component encourages health and wellness by providing farmers and farm workers with an easy-to-consume nutritional supplement, that addresses their needs.

2. Seed packs: This is for farmers to plant, cultivate and harvest vegetables for their consumption and food security. It is available in two variants; a summer pack and a winter pack. Each pack also contains fertiliser, a complete set of plant spacing ropes and a user-friendly illustrated guide.

3. Spice cultivation for income generation: Introducing niche spice farming for profitable sales, offering an alternative pathway for struggling farmers or producers wanting to diversify. Spices such as saffron, paprika, coriander and pepper.

4. Knowledge and skills development: AgriSkills, LAC’s training company, supports participants with the necessary skills and knowledge for success.

The project’s “business in a box” approach simplifies entry by providing a R300 seed package containing everything needed, from treated seeds and instructions to fertiliser and green pest control. This package can yield up to R 3,000 worth of vegetables (approximately 150 kg), even for individuals with limited farming experience.

LAC recognises that not everyone can access land, money, or prior knowledge. Yet, the project strives to ensure an opportunity for everyone, even with limited resources, as long as they have access to water.

Through AgriSkills, LAC offers additional training to interested individuals, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the spice venture.

“Spices are ideal for niche farming – a considerable growth area for the South African economy and something that LAC is passionate about. Spice cultivation presents a compelling opportunity to uplift rural commu- nities, offering a path towards self-sufficiency and business development,” says Corné.

“There is a lot of open, unused, and available land in the countryside. We can even further reclaim land by biologically reclaiming agri- cultural land that has been overgrown.

Our saffron project has already shown great promise, especially in conditions traditionally unsuitable for most kinds of agriculture,” says Corné

Here’s why spices are ideally suited for emerging farmers:

  • Low risk of theft: Unlike readily consumable crops, spices are less likely to be stolen, minimising losses.
  • Sustainable harvest: Spices can be harvested without depleting the plant, ensuring long-term productivity.
  • Resilient to animal damage: Unlike vegetables, spices are less susceptible to damage by grazing animals.
  • Extended shelf life: Spices boast a longer shelf life than most crops, reducing spoilage and waste.
  • Easy transportation: The compact nature of dried spices makes them more accessible and economical than bulkier
    produce, reducing the need for expensive transportation by large trucks and refrigerated vehicles.
Northern Cape
Western Cape
Eastern Cape
Free State

More than 100 agents
across South Africa

Laeveld Agrochem’s agents (franchisees) are qualified agronomists accredited by CropLife South Africa (formerly AVCASA).

In each region, agents receive support from experienced Business Managers, enabling detailed recommendations for both corrective and proactive measures on the farm.

Operating as a franchise business model, our dedicated team can assist growers with detailed recommendations to optimise yield per hectare.

Through strategic collaboration with our technology partner, Agri Technovation, we offer innovative solutions such as MyFarmWeb™ and Picklogger™, tailored to meet the evolving needs of modern agriculture.

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