Batho Betshu Farming (Baya Fresh)

Year round hydroponics farming of strawberries
2019 SEED Africa & South Africa Climate Adaptation Awards; Government of Flanders
Sustainable Agriculture
South Africa

The business identified a problem of inconsistent supply of strawberries within niche retailers, located in prime locations around Johannesburg. Thus, it plans to grow strawberries consistently in and out of season in a controlled environment using hydroponics and then sell primary produce to customers without the limitations of seasonality. Niche retailers ordering strawberries tend to also demand complementary produce such as mint. Baya Fresh will procure this mint from the ecosystem of other small urban farmers under an Urban Agriculture Initiative with a view to supporting the growth and sustainability of other small urban farmers.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts
By recycling water, growing in a controlled environment and utilising previously abandoned buildings, Baya Fresh are reducing water consumption and conserving biodiversity.
  • Employing more than 15 people within three years of operations. This includes at least 50% youth, 50% women, 50% individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and 10% of people living with some disability
  • Training youth and aspiring farmers about controlled environment hydroponics farming
  • Avoiding the use of harmful pesticides thereby contributing positively towards people’s health
  • Using of drip irrigation and recycling the water used in the farming process, thus drought-proofing production and conserving water.
  • Growing strawberries in a controlled environment using environmentally friendly fertilisers and renewable energy resources such as solar, thus conserving biodiversity
  • Making high-quality strawberries available in and out of season, thereby reducing the need for strawberry imports
  • Replicating the model in other cities to reduce the need for strawberries to travel long distance, saving transport costs energy, and making them more affordable


Using technology to grow strawberries in a controlled environment in and out of season to supply niche fruit and vegetable retailers consistently, all year-round.

UJ PEETS is designing and will be implementing the climate control technology critical to the production of year round strawberries

Wouldn't It Be Cool (WIBC) provides mentorship and incubation. They also link to the Johannesburg Inner City Partnership project goals, particularly the Urban Agriculture Initiative through training, support, funding and mentorship of young and upcoming urban agri-preneurs