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Why Sibongile Cele quit her day job to start a hydroponic farm in a Jozi slum
Episode 717th December 2019 • Farmer's Inside Track • Food For Mzansi
00:00:00 00:17:05

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You might be mistaken for thinking that Hillbrow in Johannesburg is only known for its high level of population density, unemployment, poverty, prostitution and crime. It’s also where former accountant Sibongile Cele started a hydroponic farm on a rooftop – embracing a new agricultural trend in which she farms fresh produce hydroponically. In this edition of Farmer’s Inside Track she speaks about the moment in which she decided to exchange her life in the corporate world to literally make a difference in the sky.

Every morning on the top of The Outreach Foundation building, you will find Sibongile Cele working on one of just a handful of urban rooftop farms in Gauteng. Woman alone, tending her crops, which includes spinach, lettuce, basil, parsley and an assortment of other herbs. Her hands bring to harvest organically grown produce of the highest quality and, in the process, debunk the malignant stereotypes that beset the national view of Hillbrow as a slum beyond repair and rescue. The interviewers are Dawn Noemdoe and Ivor Price from Food For Mzansi.

Farmer’s Inside Track is a platform for South Africa’s up-and-coming farmers and new entrants into agri-businesses who need information and inspiration to help them start up and get up to sprinting speed as commercial producers and/or agri-processors. The men and women who have resolved to one day getting to the place where the large-scale commercial farmers are, but not really finding useful information on how to get there.

This platform is a resource of exclusive content and an online community that aims to support up-and-coming commercial farmers through that tricky phase of their businesses that comes between the starter pistol and finding their stride in the sprint towards the finish line.

At the centre of it is a free weekly Farmer’s Inside Track e-mailer containing a mix of exclusive content from agricultural thought leaders, business and entrepreneurship experts and leading farmers as well as a comprehensive rundown of need-to-know news from the past week. Also, it’s a great source for those on the lookout new opportunities and funding.


While we have your attention, head over to Facebook to join the Farmer’s Inside Track group. We’d love to interact with you on a platform that allows for easy interaction and where members can crowd-source advice and support. Also, have you signed up for our weekly Food For Mzansi updates on WhatsApp? Simply send a message to +27 81 889 9032. It is the perfect way to ensure you don’t miss any of the good stuff on


Farmer’s Inside Track is supported by Food For Mzansi. Inspiration for your business and life from South Africa’s farmers and agripreneurs. Love how we salute the unsung heroes of agriculture? Why not connect with us on our social media platforms.


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