“Jeremia Mathebula’s cattle operation is an impressive one,” says Lindiwe Sithole, host of African Farming Season 2, after her visit to his farm. He started with only 10 cows but managed to grow his business to the extent that he now manages a large commercial enterprise.
Jeremia Mathebula’s business has shown consistent growth each year and progresses in leaps and bounds. Sithole believes one of the reasons for his success is his ability to ask for support when it is needed.
“We’ve talked about the importance of seeking help and sharing your expertise throughout the series so far,” she says. She wanted to know from Praveen Dwarika, managing director of Lemang Agricultural Services and one of the show’s panel experts, how important it is to have strong relationships with various industry role players, especially in agribusiness.
Innovation usually is on the forefront of agribusiness as it helps farmers farm better. One of this industry’s core values is to seek improved and efficient methods of production, as this gives the business and the farmer a competitive edge.
New and improved technologies such as robotic harvesters, automated pesticide sprayers and driverless tractors are launched each year. All of these innovations are designed to improve agricultural productivity and make agricultural activities on the farm more efficient and easier to manage.
“On a practical level it is vital to know and trust various agribusiness experts,” says Dwarika. “They will tell you about the latest technologies and help you to improve production. Farmers should form valuable connections with organisations that provide them with a one-stop-facility – an agribusiness where they can get input services, technical services and trustworthy advice.”
He also believes farmers should support industry bodies, as they are a key source of information and the latest research on various topics in a specific agriculture sector, and they help farmers to link up with industry leaders in their field of expertise.
“They play a hugely supportive role in providing farmers with credible sources of the latest information and research,” he says.