Helping farmers face their challenges

Lindiwe Sithole, brand new host of African Farming season two, visited Green Terrace where she met the chief executive officer, Mbali Nwoko. Sithole picked up valuable farming tips from Nwoko’s farming business, and learned more on how Nwoko, an award-winning farmer, grew her small business to become more competitive.

Building trust between two parties, can only be established by spending time with each other. That is why Sylvester Lubambo, Training and Development Manager at Lemang Agricultural Services believes feet on the ground is critical in an effort to providing farmers support. He talked about how service providers can optimally support farmers, during a panel discussion on the show.

“It is important that we as service providers are there for farmers,” he said. Being there (doing farm visits) according to him enables service providers to not only share best practise with farmers but also give consultants an opportunity to understand the challenges farmers face. “We need to be able to carry farmers in trying times, helping them to overcome their challenges by listening and then devising a plan together to find a solution.”

Lubambo said service providers should assure farmers that they do not desire to take over the business – “Farmers should know that they are in control at all times but also know that we offer to support them in developing a workable plan to grow their business . This plan should cover various topics like governance, finances and understanding the economic aspects of their farming enterprise.”

He believes it is crucial for service providers to be available when needed. “If we want to understand what makes a farmer tick, and help a farmer to succeed, we need to stay close to them. This enables us to pick up what their true needs are, and what needs to be done. Most of the farmers I worked with end up investing in formal and informal training.”

To find out more about Lemang Agricultural Services e-mail Lubambo:​.za

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