It’s been a watershed year for Cherry Irrigation, in every sense. We opened operating bases in both Namibia and Angola and have plans underway to assist local producers in these two countries – small-scale as well as commercial farmers – build up their production capacity consistently, systematically, strategically and sustainably.
Across South Africa, Namibia and Angola, as well as in Zimbabwe, we have been active with training workshops, setting up farms and growing schemes and consulting on large-scale commercial growing projects. We are also in negotiations with stakeholders in other African countries to continue expanding our pipeline northwards.
The Cherry Irrigation mandate is to work smart and put systems in place that minimise resources and maximise on yields. We continue to add value through dedicated consulting and support services. Our company slogan is “quality that grows”, and we apply it to every facet of what we do:
- We employ highly competent and dedicated staff members. Our South African, Namibian and Angolan teams comprise experienced and enterprising individuals who really care about the communities they work with. It’s their understanding and insights of the environments they operate in that differentiates us. We are on the ground, and physically in it, with the farmers and horticulturalists we work with. The same applies to team members that work in all the countries we operate in.
- We partner with globally vetted suppliers of the most innovative irrigation and fertigation equipment and tools available. Smart tech is the future. And it means we have the most efficient and effective means to add realistic and sustainable value and return on investment over the long term.
- We offer clients a full-service package that includes in-depth climatic and topographical surveys and assessments, customised systems, and support in the form of equipment servicing and consulting. In this way, we are able to make strategic recommendations and decisions that will serve our clients best.
- We are fully invested in our clients’ livelihoods. If they grow, so do we. We also get to help feed the people of our continent. Considering that we currently operate in Sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest prevalence of hunger on the continent – roughly 25% – we know the work we do is imperative. And positive. Successful agriculture is the seed of economic success. And smart water and resource management is a crucial aspect of successful agriculture.
According to an in-depth report issued by the World Wildlife Fund this year, agriculture remains the largest employment sector in the world. It provides livelihoods for 40% of today’s global population. It is the largest source of income and jobs for rural households.
The physical potential for irrigated crop production in Africa is large. There are considerable areas of irrigable land. There are also large amounts of surplus water that could be used for irrigation. But, reports the WWF, on average only about 27% of potentially irrigable land is currently under irrigation. In Sub-Saharan Africa that figure drops to only 4% of arable land, which is a far cry from the world average of 18,5%. Sub-Saharan Africa also remains the region with the highest prevalence of hunger – an overwhelming quarter of the population is mal- or undernourished.
It is clear that there is much work to be done. Cherry Irrigation is literally ‘’on a mission’’ to help set things in motion. We are doing so in a manner that is economically and environmentally sustainable for all stakeholders. We know that research and technology do not always filter down to those who need it. But we have the skills and expertise and an intention to apply them.
We are growing places, and we invite you to join us.
Time to rest and be festive
Our “Cherry tree” is growing into an orchard, and is cultivated by three core ingredients – the right skills, values and attitude. Our commitment to quality, efficiency and transparency lies at the roots of how we do business, and it’s how we intend to move forward.
We wish to thank all our clients, partners and staff members for working with us, supporting our business and believing in us. May you make the most of a well-deserved festive season and join us in taking on 2020 with renewed zest and energy.