Alumni Magazine #5_July 2020_single pages web

Bonginkosi Kalipa: UJ student’s farming project clinched top spot at 2019 Student Leadership Summit

He started the farming activities, which would later become the Team3 Farm project, on a very small scale while still in Grade 11. He also worked hard at school to earn the chance to go to university. Bonginkosi’s Team3 Farm has since secured around 200 square meters of latent community property on which it plants vegetables (spinach, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, butternut and beetroot) as well as breeds chickens for their eggs and meat. It also provides employment for three community members, including his sister. Team3 Farm gives the local rural community of Ngcobo access to cheap vegetables, eggs and chickens as well as the ability to earn income, either as rentals for owners or wages for those employed in the farm’s value chain. In addition, the project sells its fresh produce to schools, clinics and the All Saints Hospital to assist with the various feeding schemes that exist in the region. “Our goal,” said Bonginkosi, “is to ultimately use all of the available arable land in my village (around 600 hectares) to create more jobs and produce for the area. In the long-term, we hope to replicate the system throughout villages in the Eastern Cape that have similar land profiles. Once these hectares are put back into use, the communities will have something to trade. That’s how new local economies begin.”

University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) Bonginkosi Kalipa won top honours in the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (SAICA’s) Student Leadership Summit (SLS) last October, for his thriving food farm in the Eastern Cape. SAICA challenged BCom CA- stream accounting students from around the country to come up with community-based solutions to one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a framework for the changes the world needs to make to solve poverty, world hunger, poor health, the lack of quality education, climate change, gender inequality, environmental issues, and more . Talking about the idea for his project, called

Team3 Farm, Bongkinkosi said, “Most rural communities in the Eastern Cape have large amounts of undeveloped arable land, yet many people in these areas live in abject poverty. The idea was to utilise dormant land to produce vegetables and use this produce to earn an income to uplift the community’s standard of living.” Born and raised in the Ngcobo area, Bongkinkosi grew up poverty- stricken and hungry, as his mother, a single parent, struggled to make ends meet. “It is a place where dreams die before they are conceived. In fact, I am the only boy of my age who passed matric and proceeded to go to university in a village of more than 50 boys.”



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