WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Love what you do and give your all in whatever you do. Be able to learn at any time and from anyone.
IF THERE IS ONE THING YOU COULD DO DIFFERENTLY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Sometimes I feel like I should have never left the Free State. Just like I learned my mechanic skills from my dad, I could have learned farming from him too. But I also think things worked out the way they should have. I learned a lot at Metrorail, especially in terms of management.
WHAT HAS YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST SUCCESS BEEN TO DATE?
By making it this far and turning this farm into a profitable business.
WHO HAS MADE THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR SUCCESS?
Everyone in my life really played their part. My wife especially. My parents did what they could, and I find myself where I am because of them. My siblings, mentors and funders and, importantly, my workers.
WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP DO YOU HAVE WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURING FARMERS AND WHAT ROLE DO THEY PLAY IN YOUR SUCCESS?
I have the best relationship with my neighbours. We even have a cooperative where we share implements and machinery.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE LOOKING FOR FINANCING MONEY?
We tried to get financing for a long time but eventually we made a breakthrough. Being consistent, applying best practices and keeping good records make one attractive to funders. Another advantage is belonging to commodity associations that have built skills over many years.
WHAT ROLE HAVE INPUT SUPPLIERS, SUCH AS SEED AND CHEMICAL COMPANIES, PLAYED IN THE BUSINESS?
They play a crucial role in my business because they provide advice and expertise that I would otherwise have to pay for.
IF THERE IS A SINGLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
The minister must ensure that she makes tools available to empower black farmers, such as training, funding and linkages to sustainable markets. Farmers who benefit from land redistribution programmes should be carefully selected and taken through sustainable development programmes to commercial production.