Water Stewardship Case Study with Kunje Farm

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.

Kunje farm is situated in the Koue Bokkeveld region, about 200 km north east of Cape Town. They are one of the oldest farms in the region and produce mostly stone fruit, pome fruit, and citrus. They also have their own fruit drying store, as well as a packhouse that operate on solar energy. Kunje is very active in their social initiatives and have opened a nursery school and community hall on the farm. They hold annual sporting events for their staff, and their riel dance group have competed on national level in the past. Kunje gets their water from a river system that runs from the mountains into the larger Twee River system. They are concerned about the water in the Twee River region, as this scarce resource has become more and more under pressure in recent years. The Twee River is home to two critically endangered endemic freshwater fish species, and WWF and partners have been working with farmers on projects in this region to clear invasive alien plants, improve farm-level management, rehabilitate the Twee River system, and conserve these endangered fish. A major WWF focus has been on stewardship agreements with key riparian landowners, one of which is Kunje farm, to secure habitat for these fish species.

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