Breyten farmer succeeds with the sugar and soya bean

Mduduzi Mnisi from Breyten is breaking the mould and farming his way to success.

Born and raised in the small town, he saw what lucrative farming is like when he saw his mother working on local farms, so he decided to start a farming project of planting and producing sugar beans.

Recruited by the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration (DARDLA), he joined the Narysec programme where he did farming to gain more skills to sustain his project.

After successfully finishing his internship at the programme, he was allocated 40 hectares of land by DARDLA and after receiving funding, he planted sugar beans on 25 hectares of the land.

Mduduzi’s hard work paid off last year when he harvested 22 tons of sugar beans with each hectare producing 1000 kg of sugar beans.

“My mother is a farmer, so I took inspiration from her when I saw her passion for farming. I believe I inherited her green fingers,” says Mduduzi.

He sold that harvest to a local company where he got a good deal, leading him to selling to other countries across our borders.

This gained him more hectares from DARDLA which he put to good use by introducing and planting soya beans.

It has not been a smooth road to success for Mduduzi, having faced many challenges along the way.

“Often nature does not favour me and we experience drought or heavy rain that ruins the crops,” he says.

Other times he has to hire machinery, with money he does not have, from surrounding farmers, who at times would not assist him, leading to no work being, done leading to having to lay off workers.

Logistics and the nitty-gritty of the whole process, from the seed to the harvest to the harbour, are his biggest challenges, with unforeseeable delays making it hard to get the product to the buyer.

However, he soldiers on and credits his success to his mentor, Mr Corné Butter, who has been generous with his expertise and machinery.

Mduduzi now employs more than 150 people at the farm in his bid to alleviate poverty in his area.

The chairman of Youth in Agriculture in the Gert Sibande District Municipality, he hires the local youth to assist him, so that he can introduce them to the world of agriculture.

“My experience on the land has convinced me that this is a market black people should definitely consider investing in,” Mduduzi said.

Mduduzi with his employees at the farm.

Amanda Mthembu

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