Partnerships that work – African Farming

Thanks to a major investment by SA Breweries (SAB), the Moletele community now boasts a lime orchard project, in which they are the majority shareholder in partnership with the Komati Group. Along with SAB, the new company planted the first lime trees on a 60ha development at their Richmond Kopano Farm at Hoedspruit last December.

The plantings were done in three stages, with the second and third phases in January and March. Corona Extra, a beer in the Anheuser-Busch InBev’s stable produced by SAB, is served with a slice of lime. For that, the company needs a reliable source of limes.

Josh Hamman, head of SAB’s agricultural division, says that although limes are not part of the brewery’s core product line, it’s an important part of the Corona offering and of the alcohol industry in general.

Therefore, SAB is financing the establishment of the orchards on the condition that they have first option to purchase the limes. The Moleteles and their partners are free to sell any surplus limes to other markets.

The lime orchards are grown under shade netting, and solar-powered irrigation forms part of the R32m investment. It will also be managed so that limes can be produced throughout the year.

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