In the heart of Robinsdale, Dundonald, Mpumalanga, Tshepiso Tshabalala, a passionate 29-year-old farmer, owns Tmpire Agri Pty Ltd. After completing the Buhle Farmers’ Academy Grain Crop Production course, she set goals that have now resulted in a thriving agricultural business with a strong background in agricultural education. Her dedication to livestock production, particularly goats, sheep, and cattle, is complemented by her ability to make the most of the natural resources on her 15-hectare communal land.
She started production with one cow and later added a single goat. Buhles’ Grain Crop Production expanded her knowledge, and she now has eight cattle and 24 goats that she milks for a niche market. She also learned methods to ensure quality feed throughout the year, which ensures a good grade of meat for her market, whilst keeping costs manageable. She plants maize on 2.5 hectares, bringing in additional income, diversifying her production further, and stabilising her smallholder business.
While her farm boasts a kraal, there is room for improvement and expansion in terms of handling facilities. The fencing, although present, requires upgrades. Tshepiso maintains storage for feed and medication and is planning on a fridge for better storage. She has invested in solar energy, given that the area is remote.
As her farm is situated in the highveld area with mainly summer rainfall, herd health is of great concern. She diligently manages pests and diseases, using measures such as cleaning kraals, recycling manure as fertiliser, and the proper disposal of deceased animals. Ticks, a common pest, are controlled through dipping and regular checks. Vaccination for worms is a weekly routine for young livestock; she is resilient and applies the techniques learned in the Grain Production course to manage her entire enterprise.
Buhle’s Grain Crop Production course provides comprehensive training on various aspects of grain crop production, including crop selection, soil preparation, planting techniques, pest and disease management, irrigation, and harvesting. Over six months of practical training, farmers can expand their expertise beyond their current crop or livestock focus by gaining this knowledge. The production system used at Tmpire Agri is extensive grazing, with planted maize serving as feed during dry seasons. Supplements are provided, especially for pregnant goats. Breeding of the Nguni herd is carefully controlled to avoid births during rainy seasons.
Record-keeping remains key to unlocking funding and managing a growing business. While Tshepiso maintains partial records, her financial records are in order, demonstrating her dedication to efficient farm management. Primarily, she operates the farm single-handedly, a testament to her hard work and commitment.
Challenges faced by the business include a lack of proper infrastructure, predator attacks from jackals, and theft in the area. However, these challenges have not deterred Tshepiso’s determination to succeed.
The journey of diversification can be your key to a brighter future, just as Tshepiso has experienced. Embracing the path of expanding your range of crops positions you to better weather economic and environmental fluctuations. Buhle Farmers’ Academy recognises the potential within each farmer and offers courses designed for individuals with a passion for farming, even if they may not have a National Senior Certificate or the resources to study agriculture at a university or college.
Tshepiso’s story is an inspiring testament to the potential for success and growth in agriculture. Her journey, marked by hard work and determination, showcases the promise that lies within the farming industry. With the right support and resources, Tshepiso’s dreams can become a reality, and her business can continue to thrive and contribute to the agricultural landscape in South Africa. We believe that, like Tshepiso, your dedication and hard work can lead to a thriving farming business. The opportunities are here, waiting for you to seize them. As you embark on this journey, you’ll find a supportive community and resources that will empower you to make your mark in the world of agriculture.
Enrol at Buhle Farmers’ Academy today
Enrol at Buhle Farmers’ Academy today and commence your journey towards a more prosperous and diversified farming business. Our comprehensive Grain Crop Production course can help you achieve your goals. Visit our website today to find more information on the course and how to enrol. The path to success in farming is within your reach.Buhle Farmers’ Academy, farming business, Grain Crop Production