Cottoning on to better smallholder farming

Two smallholder cotton communities in Limpopo and Mpumalanga packed their last woolpack by hand in August, after welcoming new baling machines. With automated baling these communities can look forward to making bigger margins on their cotton crop. African Farming’s Robyn Joubert reports.

Continue ReadingCottoning on to better smallholder farming
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The pink plastic wrapping used in the baling demonstration was befitting of celebrating women in the cotton industry during Women’s Month. Approximately 60% of South Africa’s smallholder cotton farmers are women.

Turnkey solutions for future farmers

Agricultural services company FarmSol Holdings is keenly focused on supporting the needs of black farmers. The FarmSol model aims to incubate emerging farmers into thriving businesses, by linking them to the key pillars of growth: access to markets, finance, training and mentorship. Peter Mashala spoke to FarmSol managing director Aron Kole about their track record in sustainable development.

Continue ReadingTurnkey solutions for future farmers
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Njabulo Mbokane from Ermelo in Mpumalanga is a Farmsol Youth Ambassador and the winner of the 2019 SAB-FarmSol Young Emerging Farmer of the Year Award. She farms grains and vegetables on more than 200ha she rents.

No-till farmer thrives with fast-moving veggies

Sithembele Malgas has run a successful vegetable and beef cattle farm in the Eastern Cape for 20 years, employing eight full-time workers. Although he moved out of agricultural extension services many years ago, his passion for transferring skills remains and he continues to mentor and inspire upcoming farmers. Peter Mashala visited him on his Idutywa farm.

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A former extension officer, Sithembele Malgas started farming in 1991 on a communal plot outside Idutywa in the former Transkei. It now falls under the Mbashe local municipality in the Amathole District. He produces cabbage, spinach and butternut in rotation on about 4ha and has over 300 beef cows on two farms. PHOTOS: PETER MASHALA

Tiger Brands’ big appetite for growing smallholder farmers

Tiger Brands, the country’s largest food manufacturer, is committed to supporting South Africa’s black farmer suppliers through its enterprise and supplier development programme. A key aspect of this is the aggregator model, which builds both smallholder and commercial farmers. Peter Mashala caught up with Litha Kutta, Tiger Brands’ enterprise and supplier development director, to learn more about this initiative.

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