I’ve been doing a number of shoots for Harry Gwala Agri recently. Harry Gwala Agri is an NGO that coordinates mentorship programs and training for smallholder farmers and agriculture TVET students with the help of local commercial farmers in the area. This particular shoot was just down the road from me in a spectacular valley that is dotted with giant aloes in full bloom. It’s really quite beautiful at this time of year.
I met smallholder farmer Ghela Mngoma. Gehla has a few hectres of cabbages, tomatoes and pumpkins. His farm is situated alongside a river, giving him access to plenty of water and a successful irrigation scheme. It looks like he’s going to have a bumper cabbage crop this year!
Over the years Gehla has been mentored by Beesie Stone, a long time commercial farmer in the Ixopo district. Everyone knows Beesie here! Beesie is a perfectionist when it comes to farm operations. He’s been farming for over 40 years and has recently retired. He has dedicated much of his time to mentoring Gehla, helping him to get where he is now and paving the way for a future in farming for him and his family.
These images are of Ghela himself and his cabbage crop which should be ready for harvest in the next few weeks. Shortly after I started the shoot, Ghela’s family arrived. It was a particularly colourful shoot with the aloes in the back ground, blue skies, big smiles and pumpkins! I’m looking forward to capturing the harvest in a few weeks time and following this family’s future in agriculture.
Lianne has a special interest in smallholder farmers and has done work for the likes of AgDevCo and Backsaver Farm Equipment. She has a good rapport with the farmers she is photographing and is able to make them feel comfortable and relaxed while being photographed. Her work includes both documentary and directed shoots. Lianne has photographed smallholder farmers in a number of Southern African countries and is available to travel.
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