It takes a village to raise a child, the saying goes. The same is true for farming, as this young crop farmer discovered. Today, he has a team of experts behind him, including his trusted Pannar crop consultant.
Seitshiro Mozzart Marumoloe (37) credits his late grandfather, Hendrik Segatle, who farmed maize and sunflower at Springbokpan, as his first farming mentor. Seitshiro produces white maize, small white canning beans and sunflower on his farm near Sannieshof in North West. He rotates the yellow maize hybrid PAN 5R-582R with the small white canning dry bean PAN 123 and the sunflower hybrid PAN 7100.
“Last year I bought my Toyota Land Cruiser with the profits I made with the PAN 123 canning beans,” he says. This bean cultivar is a small white canning bean that entered the market in 2010. It was bred to significantly improve yield and is the main canning bean currently available.
PAN 5R-582R is a yellow maize hybrid in the medium-early growth class that is well adapted to all production regions and a very stable producer. PAN 7100 is a conventional medium late sunflower hybrid. It’s a three-way cross with good stability that is suitable for all sunflower production regions and has good yield potential and excellent oil content.
With a diploma in business management from the Taletso TVET College in Lichtenburg behind his name, Seitshiro initially worked as a financial consultant at NWK. “Visiting farmers who applied for funding exposed me to the business side of running a farm. I also started helping my grandpa on his 10ha of communal land. There I planted the sunflower hybrid PAN 7100, averaging 1.8t/ha – a record yield for me.
I used the income from that harvest to buy a planter and sprayer. The following year I rented another 20ha to plant sunflower and 10ha for beans. I was told you make good money with beans.” In November 2013 Seitshiro was granted a 30-year lease for the farm Wit Klipdrift near Sannieshof by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
“I was smart with my applications and through that process, I received funding from Omnia’s farmer development programme,” he says. “During the first year McCain Foods entered a profit-sharing partnership with me.
With their help, I was able to plant potatoes in 2014. Then I bought 10 cattle, 20 sheep, 20 goats and four pigs. I put a lot of time and effort into planning and making the most of all the processes I needed to complete to receive help.” It was all worth the effort, and 2014 turned out to be one of his best years.
Working full time while farming became a challenge, and when Seitshiro resigned from NWK, his relationship with Hendrik Mokoto, a Pannar consultant he had known since 2013, became invaluable. “Meeting Hendrik was the beginning of my journey with Pannar. If I have a problem with seed or the soil, or any other agronomic challenge, Hendrik would help.”
“Seitshiro is a customer who knows what he wants, and he wants his seed on time! His drive to succeed is strong, and he wants to get things done,” adds Hendrik.
Seitshiro says he started out with a small account at Pannar. “They always helped with payment arrangements and advice. If government funding is late, Pannar will allow me to plant on time and pay later. It’s a relationship that adds a lot of value to my operation. Today I only plant Pannar seed.”
Pannar’s Extravaganza farming days are a highlight for him. He is also impressed with the service of Pannar’s agronomists.
Pannar’s service excellence sets the tone for other input suppliers that ensure Seitshiro’s success. “When I needed agricultural chemicals, Inteligro, under Natie Visser, helped me with credit in the same way Pannar did,” he says.
He’s also thankful for help from Rossouw Filling Station in Lichtenburg. “They understood my challenges and provided diesel on credit after Grain SA approached them.” Seitshiro believes these suppliers placed their faith in him because his records are always in order and up to date. That way everyone is assured that he’d be able to pay in future.
“Through these relationships, I realised how important records are,” he says. Schoeman Boerdery in Delmas, Mpumalanga, buys Seitshiro’s small white canning beans on contract. “They also assist me to make sure my business runs smoothly, and Oom Kallie Schoeman himself has been a great help,” says Seitshiro.
“His advice to me was: ‘First get your relationships right and the profit will follow.’ That is part of the long-term process of farming.” Seitshiro was also advised early on that incurring debt to cover production costs was fine, but bakkies and implements should be bought cash.
A BRIGHT FUTURE
Seitshiro says he started farming to leave a legacy. “I do it for my children, Botlhale (10), Botshelo (6) and Bokao (2), as well as for my wife, Nthabiseng. I want to create opportunities for them. One day hopefully I’ll be able to transfer ownership to my children. I involve them in the farming, and they’re all interested. That’s very important to me.