Sepetla Eden Farm is in Ha Mojakisane Mokhotlong. It was established by 3 members in 2016 producing vegetables on an open land. The company registered legally in 2020 by 3 male shareholders (Malakia Lekhema, Bokang Sepetla and Tsebo Sepetla) aged between 23-30 then. Their objectives were to alleviate poverty, to create employment for themselves and other people, and moreover, for improved nutrition. In 2022-2023 the company hired 3 permanent employees (2 male youths and 1 female) due to increased on farm activities.
Before they engage with SADP they used to plant on an open land where they were forced to plant limited vegetables like rape, cabbage and spinach due to climatic conditions. Then, they used regular instead of hybrid seeds, this was due to lack of knowledge and money to purchase such seeds. Their main challenges were climate change where they sometimes faced heavy rainfalls, hail and draught. Due to the aforementioned prohibiting factors, they could not grow other cash crops like tomatoes, green peppers among others. The other challenge was animals that destroyed their produce, including pests and theft. They could only sell their produce to individual people on the streets due to poor quality of produce that could not reach the market. The farm did not interact very much with the extension staff to provide them with relevant trainings and advises to enhance their production.
Sepetla Farm aerial view
Sepetla Eden Farm submitted a proposal to SADPII and was one of the successful applicants. The farm managed to boost both its production and the quality of its produce after it joined SADP. They were supported with two shade nets, a multispan shade net, a standard shade net and a borehole through the office of matching grants. After obtaining the supplies, they used them effectively and efficiently to begin growing tomatoes and green peppers inside the netting. Members attended SADP organized trainings, which covered topics including production, record keeping, and marketing. However, the Farm is still working on its milestone 3 counterpart contribution so that it can also obtain SADP funding for things like irrigation equipment, trellising twines, and hooks.
They were able to create agreements with the market and increase the quality of their produce attributable to the training they received. Within the Mokhotlong district, Sepetla Eden Farm established a market with many retailers. They presently work mostly with Bafokeng Fruit and Veg, which offers them a space shelf on which to sell their produce. So far they manage to sell 25 boxes of tomatoes per week and close to 40 boxes of green pepper per week.
The farm is willing to produce more quality vegetables for Mokhotlong consumers to mitigate malnutrition.