Chinese national, Hou Xue Cheng, is running a successful vegetable garden, while he is also farming with pigs and making bricks. All operations are in Windhoek's Goreagab informal settlement.
Hou has been running the vegetable garden for the past 10 years, and sells the produce from his garden at his shop in China Town.
"We sell our vegetables mainly to Chinese people and also to anyone who wishes to buy. Our vegetables are cheaper compared to other shops in Windhoek," he said.
The fresh produce includes lettuce, chives, onions, cabbage, cucumbers, pumpkins, egg plant and beans.
"My workers are hardworking in maintaining the garden. We sometimes give them vegetables to take home, so they are happy," said Hou who grows the profuce on a two-hectare piece of land and plans to expand the garden in future. He is also farming with pigs, which he says are not yet ready for sale. He has close to 50 pigs.
Six months ago Hou established a booming brick-making project, making between 20 000 and 30 000 bricks per day. He says he realised there is a lack of finished bricks in the construction industry in the capital and decided to use the opportunity to supply different manufacturing companies. "They often lack bricks so I decided to make money," he noted.
Hou is in partnership with three business-minded Namibians. "My main customers are construction companies and also anyone who wants to buy bricks. We are the cheapest in Windhoek. One brick is N$1.40. Business is booming. I have a lot of customers because the bricks are cheaper. The quality of my bricks is 100 percent," Hou said. He employs 30 locals and four Chinese technicians.
The supervisor of the garden, Liu Zuying, says she came to Namibia three months ago in search of greener pastures. "Back in China I grew rice and planted vegetables on a small patch of land, so I know the basics about gardening. I came to Namibia because here we are getting paid better than in China," she explained.
"It is dry this year so it is difficult to plant, because we do not have enough water," said Liu. She said prices are determined by the quality of the produce.