Liv­ing off the land

Vuk'uzenzele - - Rural Development - Adele Schor­mann

SUC­CESS­FUL MPUMALANGA farmer en­cour­ages the youth to con­sider farm­ing as a ca­reer.

Moniwa Skhosana (65) is a born and bred farmer who en­cour­ages the youth to fol­low in his foot­steps.

Skhosana is the proud owner of Moniwa Agri­cul­tural Project, a prof­itable maize, straw­berry, cat­tle and sheep farm in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga.

“Grow­ing up on a farm made me the per­son I am to­day. I was raised farm­ing cows, with my fa­ther,” he said.

Watch­ing his fa­ther be­ing able to sup­port the en­tire fam­ily by farm­ing en­cour­aged him to start and fo­cus on his own busi­ness.

“I started farm­ing with noth­ing. Now I look back and I am re­ally for­tu­nate to have achieved ev­ery­thing that I have. I en­cour­age young peo­ple to get into agri­cul­ture, be­cause it is a way of life. Our fore­fa­thers sur­vived by farm­ing and we can too,” he said.

Skhosana re­ceived his 1 500-hectare farm, which is ideal for crop and an­i­mal farm­ing, from the Depart­ment of Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment and Land Re­form’s Proac­tive Land Ac­qui­si­tion Strat­egy Pro­gramme in 2011. In 2013, the depart­ment gave him 30 preg­nant Nguni cows and one bull, which are still go­ing strong.

The farm em­ploys 24 peo­ple, 16 of which are per­ma­nent em­ploy­ees and eight are ca­sual work­ers.

The suc­cess­ful farmer, who be­lieves in the spirit of ubuntu and of­ten do­nates to poor fam­i­lies and events, en­cour­ages the youth not to over­look farm­ing as a pos­si­ble ca­reer.

“Umuntu ngu­muntu nga­bantu,” he says, which means ‘You are be­cause I am’.

Through his ef­forts and count­less hours farm­ing the land, Skhosana has bought the farm im­ple­ments and other pro­duc­tion tools he needed.

Skhosana main­tains a close re­la­tion­ship with gov­ern­ment and re­ceives ad­vice and tech­ni­cal sup­port on crop and live­stock man­age­ment and record con­trol; mech­a­ni­sa­tion sup­port for crop pro­duc­tion and the bail­ing of fod­der.

Fol­low­ing a hail storm, which led to crop, con­tour and wa­ter­way dam­age, the depart­ment as­sisted him to sur­vey the land and plan wa­ter­ways and con­tours.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.