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Success Story: Sihle Ntozine

Sihle Ntozini is an inspiring young farmer farming in the heart of Buffalo City. He attended the AGRI 5 Commodities Expo held in East London last year during September 2022. When Sihle’s grandfather, who is 88 years old challenged him a few years ago to farm the land next to Mdantsane suburb, he gave it good consideration. He soon realised that with the backing of farming experience of his granddad and his own entrepreneurial spirit he was good to give it a try.  Another attribute he ticked off was the fact that being located within a peri-urban area, off-taking was bound at their doorstep.  Other features included a frost-free subtropical climate, access to irrigation water and good quality soil.

He started with planting small patches of vegetable crops like cabbage and spinach, but soon realized that he has to improvise in order to offer a more complete basket of fruit to his customers. With his grandfather’s advise he ventured on propagating banana trees and also decided to buy and re-sell other commodities, like pineapples, which are high in demand but which he cannot yet grow onsite. Soon the yield of some crops increased to the extent that he had to source additional marketing opportunities and he turned to formal retail chain stores, like Spar, who welcomed his good quality crop.

The farm is currently 1,2 ha in size, and it is currently a formally registered farming enterprise known as Buffalo City Gardens. A section of it is established under banana trees and banana tree propagation material (or treelings) forms part of the products on offer sold to other local farmers, apart from the banana fruits.

AgricultSURE and Laeveld Agrochem is proud to be associated with Sihle and his story of success were shared on national television, #NicheFarmers last year. We are excited to share that he has recently received a sponsorship from the National Youth Development Agency to help him expand his farming initiatives. Sihle plans on upgrading his farm stall in order to present a more formally structured sales outlet. His level of work ethics is commendable and at times during harvesting he employs up to six people. He likes to see the sun rising and setting while being onsite at the farm, putting in a hard day’s work and as part of the sponsorship he is currently in process of upgrading the irrigation system.

Keep going Sihle, we are watching this space!

Niche Farmers

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The veggie starter packs offer you the opportunity to grow enough vegetables to feed your family and even have surplus to sell, providing an additional source of income.

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AgricultSURE on Niche Farmers

AgricultSURE, a South African small-scale farmer developer, joined forces with Laeveld Agrochem for the popular televised Niche Farmers series. Airing since August 2022, the series showcases local up-and-coming farmers using innovative methods for food production. It features diverse farming enterprises, from hydroponic rooftops to greenhouses, highlighting the entrepreneurial spirit of South African farmers.

AgricultSURE and Laeveld Agrochem hope that Niche Farmers will inspire others to start their agri-businesses, promoting a wide range of food production opportunities for universal food security in the country and region. The series also emphasizes the significance of commercial farming and creating jobs in the agricultural industry. AgricultSURE collaborates with small-scale farmers and community gardening projects to implement sustainable projects across the region.