The Karoo town of Murraysburg is experiencing a job injection after the Western Cape department of agriculture financed a small-scale garlic project.
The company, Murraysburg Garlic, is the brainchild of the grandfather of brothers Craig and Ryan Newborn. Their grandfather was determined to secure the future of those who had been employed on the family farm for a long time.
“We then decided to create an opportunity for staff, who have been part of our family for long, to have an income when he dies,” says Craig.
With financial assistance from the provincial department and local business strategist Chris Barr, the town’s water scheme was repaired in 2017, allowing plots to be irrigated once again.
Today, Murraysburg Garlic is a thriving business which employs several residents.
Western Cape agriculture minister Dr Ivan Meyer says the project has benefitted from the collaboration between the local farming community and the department. The partnership has created much-needed jobs in Murraysburg.
“The project has generated five permanent and 35 seasonal job opportunities. Job creation is crucial for the Western Cape Government. The dedication displayed by everyone involved will grow the business successfully and lead to even more jobs,” says Meyer.
Processing manager Martha Booysen highlights that several women are involved in the packaging of garlic bulbs.
“I have been with the project since the beginning. We are thrilled to be part of this project. We work hard, and we are proud of our achievements. Plans are going ahead to construct a fully equipped processing plant to expand operations. The intention is to grow the business and introduce more youth to the garlic industry,” Booysen says.
“For the Western Cape department of agriculture, its grant of R1.5 million towards repairing the water scheme has been an excellent investment. The Western Cape has three strategic priorities: jobs, safety and dignity and wellbeing. When we create jobs, we create safer communities,” concludes Meyer.