Water Stewardship Case Study with Elandsrivier Farming

As part of Worldwide Fruit’s Water Stewardship programme, Blue North is writing up a number of case studies on Worldwide Fruit’s key growers and where they are in terms of water stewardship in their main catchments. The aim of these case studies is to raise awareness on water challenges, but also to showcase sustainability strategies that South African growers are implementing.

Elandsrivier Farming is situated in the Warm Bokkeveld region, close to Ceres, in South Africa’s Western Cape province. Elandsrivier is a third-generation family farm established in 1969, and they currently cultivate 135ha of peaches, nectarines, apples, pears and apricots. Social initiatives at Elandsrivier Farming include an annual apricot picking day that is open to the public. All proceeds of the day go to Elandsrivier’s Daycare Centre. Elandsrivier is also in partnerships with a group of previously disadvantaged farmers from the Nduli/Ceres community. They jointly own Thembelitsha Farming, a 230ha working farm that produces garlic, onions, nectarines & peaches. Elandsrivier Farming boasts WWF-SA Conservation Status as they played a key role in the establishment of the Waboomsberg Conservancy. Together with WWF, their goal is to eliminate alien vegetation and protect indigenous plants and animals, one of which is the critically endangered geometric tortoise occurring in the region. Water is a challenge for Elandsrivier Farming. They base many of their decisions on water and have a water budget and five-year plan for all new plantings. Due to concerns over water, they have decided to rather cultivate less hectares, but plant the right cultivars that bear quickly and are more profitable in the long run.

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