WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Learn a lot about your own trade so that you can diversify. Also, plan ahead.
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY IF YOU COULD?
I would have learnt earlier to allow myself to make mistakes. It is from the mistakes I have made that I’ve learnt.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?
My biggest achievement has been acquiring knowledge and experience in this trade. Even if I lose everything, I will not lose what I know. This means that I could start again from scratch.
WHO HAS MADE THE MOST IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR SUCCESS SO FAR?
My workers on this farm. They are fully committed to the success of this business.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS, AND DO THEY PLAY ANY ROLE IN YOUR BUSINESS?
I’m surrounded mostly by communal farmers and our relationship is good.
DID YOU FIND IT CHALLENGING TO SECURE FINANCING, AND WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER OTHER FARMERS WHO ARE IN NEED OF FUNDING?
It was difficult until I got a breakthrough with Exxaro. I think farmers need to look for other ways to get financed. Many private companies have corporate social investment (CSI) programmes that may be able to assist with farmer finance. It is important to be consistent – investors want consistency.
DO INPUT SUPPLIERS, LIKE SEED OR CHEMICAL COMPANIES, PLAY ANY ROLE IN YOUR FARMING OPERATION?
I don’t have any relationship with input suppliers. Ours is an over-the-counter exchange.
IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE SOME ADVICE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
Women need land! Please make sure that government services trickle down to the rural areas where most women farmers are found.