A hop farm on a rooftop within the coronary heart of Joburg? This 32-year-old constructed that.

Hops are grown in South Africa and harvested yearly in George in Western Cape. However one entrepreneur has discovered an ingenious strategy to flip it on its head.

Khaya Maloney (32), pictured right here on 20 September 2022, is setting the usual for hydroponic farming in Johannesburg, creating his personal hops crop outdoors of its regular consolation local weather. Image: Katlego Jiyane / Eyewitness Information

JOHANNESBURG – Hops are a key ingredient in brewing beer. One would possibly argue it’s the lifeblood of beer manufacturing. Very very similar to wine grapes, these inexperienced leavy cones are geography particular. In South Africa, farmers usually develop and harvest hops in George yearly because the local weather situations are optimum for the crop.

However within the coronary heart of Johannesburg, a vibrant civil engineer and entrepreneur is displaying off his science abilities to guests along with his profitable hydroponic hop farm on the rooftop of Structure Hill.


Hydroponics are a system of farming with out soil. Utilizing a particular nutrient-rich water, Khaya Maloney (32) has been capable of develop this soil-needing plant in the course of the town atop a historic constructing. Structure Hill, now a museum, was initially construct as a fort and is called a former jail the place each Nelson and Winnie Mandela had been incarcerated throughout apartheid.

“There’s solely 402 hectares of hop yards and all hop growers provide to 1 main conglomerate. That didn’t sit proper with me” Says Khaya.

Most craft brewers in South Africa import their hops. Khaya got here up with a four-season hop yard idea and is now in a position provide the necessity for domestically grown contemporary hops in an eco-friendly and sustainable approach at an inexpensive worth.
There are a lot of constructive implications for meals safety by rising hops hydroponically. There was a rise of the worth of barley and wheat in June because of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. These two nations export practically a 3rd of the world’s barley and wheat.

Khaya can set his personal worth for his harvests as he cuts out the center man and doesn’t depend on imports. Along with Craft Brewers, Maloney additionally provides native cooks in Joburg, in addition to beauty corporations.

Maloney says that he was capable of strategy state-owned entities for collaboration to scale the enterprise on a farmyard in George inside the area of 10 to 40 hectares. He says there are better alternatives to scale the enterprise additional by exporting hops through hydroponic farming.

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