Farms Produce A Feast With Our Piggery Management Course


Embark on a transformative journey into pig farming with Buhle Farmer’s Academy’s Introduction to Piggery Management course. This comprehensive programme covers crucial aspects of pig farming, guiding participants through the intricacies of successful pig husbandry.

The piggy tale begins

Meet 18-year-old Dineo Makuwa who, despite her young age, already runs a thriving farm. 

Dineo is a living testament to the success of the Buhle Farmer Academy’s programmes, and shows that young farmers can reap huge rewards through harnessing their energy and determination. 

Buhle caters for new farmers without a tertiary education, and even without a Senior Certificate, as we know that many of these new farmers have the talent and dedication needed to run highly successful agribusinesses. 

Dineo gained her initial exposure to farming as a child by working on the family farm during weekends and school holidays and attending livestock auctions with her father. She realises that pig breeding can contribute to food security for her community while building up her own farming business. This is why, after completing her course at Buhle in 2023 and registering her company, Sukuma Darkie Enterprise & Projects, she used her savings to buy ten piglets. She also inherited five cattle and 12 goats from her parents. 

Dineo plans to expand her operations and is building a structure on her one-hectare farm so that she can breed her pigs. She has already reached an agreement with an abattoir, which will buy the animals. However, this strong-minded young farmer plans to build her own abattoir and supply supermarkets with her meat as well as to start an agro-processing enterprise, which will make bacon and mince sausage to supply to local supermarkets. 

To cope with disease outbreaks, Dineo consistently ensures the health and safety of her animals. The quality of her meat matters to her, hence her focus on feed mix and the overall health of her herd. 

The growth spurt

The growth stages of pigs, from piglet to market-ready, are explored in detail during Buhle’s Introduction to Piggery Management Course.  During her training, Dineo gained hands-on experience in pig care and routine management, including understanding pig breeds, designing optimal pig housing, formulating balanced diets, recognising and managing common pig diseases, and implementing ethical practices for the welfare of pigs.  As the pigs progress through growth stages, from the weaning phase where they transition to solid food (3-8 weeks) to the pre-grower stage (8-10 weeks), where they focus on optimal nutrition for growth, Dineo continue to nurture them with her newfound knowledge. In the grower stage (10-16 weeks) and finisher stage (16-24 weeks), a balanced diet becomes crucial to support muscle development as the pigs approach their final market weight. Should the need arise, Buhle’s Farmer Support Officers are on hand to assist her with business strategy or making hard decisions during episodes such as a Swine flu outbreak

Why choose Buhle Farmer’s Academy?

Step into the dynamic world of pig farming and realise the opportunity not only to contribute to the farm-to-table journey, but also to shape a sustainable and prosperous future in pig husbandry. Through a carefully curated combination of facilitated learning, practical demonstrations, and fieldwork, this course at Buhle Farmers’ Academy offers a holistic learning experience.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced farmer, join us in the Introduction to Piggery Management course, exploring the opportunities in pig breeding and take the first step towards mastering the essentials of this dynamic agricultural practice

Visit our website today for more information, to enrol and embrace the possibilities that pig husbandry offers.

Introducing Buhle

There are many thousands of new farmers in South Africa needing skills, guidance and capital to grow a viable farming business. Buhle Farmers’ Academy is a non-profit organisation that trains, mentors and supports these new farmers.

We offer holistic courses covering all the farming and management skills these farmers need (see Programme section for more details), and trainees come from all over the country to learn at our campus near Delmas, Mpumalanga. Our farmer support offices mentor as many of our graduates as possible, and we manage several programme providing financial support to some of our most promising alumni.

Since we opened our doors in the year 2000 we have grown from strength to strength, and have now trained over 7 000 emerging farmers - half of them women and 60% of them youth - in vegetable, crops, poultry and livestock production, and mixed farming. Even better, about 14 000 jobs have been created due to Buhle, based on the assumption that for every new farmer established, at least one additional job is created.

Our Mission

Buhle’s mission is train and support aspiring farmers from across South Africa to run farming businesses that are both profitable and sustainable. The effect is that we are helping to alleviate poverty by creating jobs, while ensuring food security.

Over the years, Buhle has developed a best-practice model that could help make a huge difference in helping to transform agriculture in South Africa.

In the rural and poorest areas of our country, the biggest employers are government, agriculture and mining. Most of these employers are unlikely to radically increase their take-up of employees. Our biggest hope lies in developing a culture of entrepreneurship, and agriculture is one of the key sectors for doing so.

Universities and training colleges are expensive and have strict academic entrance criteria, which many aspiring farmers cannot fulfil. They need accessible, practical training with the follow-up coaching and support that enables them to overcome the myriad, unpredictable challenges of agriculture.

Buhle fulfils these needs.

Our History
In the years after 1994 – when South Africa became a democracy – our newspapers were peppered with stories of how farming ventures fail after being handed over to black farmers. It became clear that transferring land was simply not enough. Emerging farmers also needed farming skills and ongoing mentorship.

A group of concerned citizens with agricultural expertise decided to address this problem. In the year 2000, they got together to form the Food Health Hope Foundation and, under its auspices, Buhle – meaning “It is good” – was established.

Our founding partner was Monsanto, now Bayer, who donated to us the fertile land that became our training farm and gave us the start-up capital we needed. We developed our first curriculum in conjunction with Tshwane University of Technology, focusing on vegetable production as it has a short production cycle. Two years later, we added poultry, livestock and crop production courses.

In 2004, we registered the Buhle Farmers’ Academy as an NPO in order to continue our fundraising efforts. We have grown from strength to strength over the years. From our first cohort of 57 students in the year 2000, we trained over 500 in 2018, and we have now trained over 6 000 farmers over the years.

Our heartfelt thanks go to every one of our funding partners. With your backing and partnership, we are indeed fulfilling our mission: to transform dreams into reality for many thousands of aspiring farmers.

Our Approach

Buhle has developed a best-practice model for training aspiring farmers, which includes:

  • A sound theoretical knowledge base in agricultural technology
  • Competency based practical skills training
  • Training in farm business management
  • Training in appropriate life skills
  • Effective follow-up and support services.

Our People

Our staff are the people who make it all happen, and behind us is the highest authority of our organisation, the Board of Trustees of the Food Health Hope Foundation.

The Board oversees our vision, mission and activities. Motivated entirely by their sense of philanthropy, they donate their time, knowledge, experience and prestige to help grow and guide the Buhle Farmers’ Academy.

A picture of our staff on each campus is below, and underneath that is a list of our board of trustees.


Our Partners

Our heartfelt thanks go to every one of our partners, who make our work possible: