Working together yields profits for Keimoes farmers

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The gravel road between Keimoes and Upington unfolds onto the lush, green oasis of Eksteenskuil in the Northern Cape. Here, a group of small-scale farmers have created a vibrant agricultural community through hard work and planning.

The Eksteenskuil Agricultural Co-operative (EAC) website describes Eksteenskuil as “a rural Coloured community” settled in the lower Orange River valley near Keimoes, 45km from Upington in the Northern Cape.

The main crops grown are raisins and pecan nuts.

Many of the plots in Eksteenskuil are too small for grape production, and pecan nuts will soon be a valuable alternative. The pecan trees have yet to come into full production, however, so raisins currently form the mainstay of the co-op.

The farmers had realised a harvest of about 1 200t of choice-grade raisins at the time of Farmer’s Weekly’s visit in May. A total harvest of 2 200t is expected.

About 890t were delivered to Red Sun Raisins in May, compared with 524t at the same time last year.

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