Up close and personal with Nkosana Mtambo

WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

Prepare everything on time and try to predict what may happen. Take calculated risks; not taking a risk is just another type of risk.

WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY, IF YOU COULD?

Last year I should have taken more risk by increasing my planting area as there was more than enough rain and the yields were incredibly good. Also, when I started livestock farming, I should have included goats in the operation. They are a good investment.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS TO DATE?

Acquiring a third farm and being able to expand my operation must be my biggest achievement to date.

WHO HAS MADE THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR SUCCESS SO FAR?

My parents and grandparents, and my partner and soulmate.

WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP DO YOU HAVE WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS, AND WHAT ROLE DO THEY PLAY IN YOUR BUSINESS?

I get on very well with my neighbours and have an excellent relationship with them. We help one another all the time and occasionally we meet up and have braais.

WAS IT A STRUGGLE TO SECURE FINANCING? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER OTHER EMERGING FARMERS IN NEED OF FUNDING?

It was and still is a struggle to get financing. We are seen as high risk by commercial banks, who shy away from helping us. My advice would be to take care of your business and ensure you keep good records – this is where investors look first when they are thinking of investing in your business.

WHAT ROLE DO INPUT SUPPLIERS SUCH AS ANIMAL-HEALTH COMPANIES PLAY IN YOUR BUSINESS?

They have been playing a vital role in the company, with some really invaluable advice and great after service. They make a big contribution.

IF YOU COULD GIVE THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE SOME ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I’d say, come closer to us on the ground and learn about our challenges and successes. That way you’ll know how best to assist us.

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