Crop farmer Seitshiro Marumaloe has a philosophy of accountability in his farming operation – to his credit. He makes no excuses when challenges arise and has pushed the pause button on frustration with government, the weather, markets and pests. Instead, he just gets on with the job.
Farmers know their businesses well, as they would have built up their operations over time. “At the end of the day, the farmer puts his or her hand up and is ultimately responsible for everything that happens on the farm,” says Praveen Dwarika of Lemang Agricultural Services, an agribusiness involved in the training and development of new-era farmers.
Dwarika makes the point that some of the responsibilities on the farm must be delegated. Tasks and duties are shared out of necessity, to stop things from spiralling out of control. “For things to flow, workers have to be empowered to carry out the tasks assigned to them in a responsible and accountable manner.”
He also highlights the importance of every team member’s accountability. “This makes it possible for a farmer to represent his business on the outside with confidence, knowing that everything on his farm is in place.”
Accountability goes hand in hand with staying positive and having the right attitude – an approach that is critical to a farming business, according to Dwarika. “We know farming is not a one-day game. There is no quick buck to be made in farming,” he says.
Roadblocks like drought and disease are part of life and must be faced. Marumaloe agrees, explaining that there is a balance in farming: tough seasons are followed by seasons of abundance, and knowing this makes it easier to stay buoyant.
“Farmers are aware that they don’t have the luxury of saying ‘it can wait until tomorrow’,” Dwarika concludes.