Nkosana Mtambo woke up on his 21st birthday eight years ago, little knowing it was a day that would change his life. His father and grandfather gave him 710ha of farmland as a gift for his 21st birthday. This would become the foundation of Mtambo Boerdery, an operation consisting of 200 Bonsmara cattle, 400 Dohne merinos, and a fleet of tractors over three farms.
Jeremia Mathebula, Grain SA/Absa/John Deere Financial New Era Commercial Farmer of the Year in 2018, knows that to be competitive and profitable in a farming business means optimising all your resources. From only 10 cows in 2009 and a maize yield of less than 2t/ha in 2010, steady year-on-year growth has resulted in a successful enterprise of 600 Simbra cattle and 600ha of maize and soya beans outside Amersfoort in Mpumalanga.
Trading off the back of his bakkie in the former homeland of Ciskei taught Aviwe Gxotiwe to respect the work ethic and business skills of immigrant Somali and Pakistani businesspeople. Today he applies the same principles in his own business – the 2 300ha lucerne and sheep farm Soutvleij in the Somerset East district of the Eastern Cape.
The rainy season is here! The rush to vaccinate animals on time and get the fields ready for planting has begun. A few farmers take us through their programmes as they welcome summer.