South African Journal of Cultural History

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The Philippi German Agricultural Association 125 years of organised agriculture on the Cape Flats

L Rabe


The Philippi Agricultural Association, one of South Africa’s oldest agricultural associations, celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2010. This association of Philippi, the Western Cape’s “Vegetable Pantry”, was established in 1885 to improve the unfavourable conditions under which the German immigrants had to farm on the sandy and marshy Cape Flats. It acted as a lobby group to build roads to and within the area, and to promote the development of agricultural activities within the community. This article presents an historical overview of the establishment of the association and ends with an assessment of the future, as the survival of the area is threatened by urban encroachment, and, as in other rural areas, by high levels of crime. The role of organised agriculture to ensure a healthy, sustainable agricultural sector, locally and in a wider sense, is continuously emphasised.

Keywords: agricultural association, agriculture, German immigrants, horticulture, organised agriculture, Philippi, sustainability.

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