June 2024 1st Edition

Grabbing the bull by its horn in cattle farming

Staff Writer


Regomoditswe Malao (45) is an example of how passion, science and commitment can breed a successful cattle farmer. 

Reluctant to call himself a commercial farmer, Malao hails from Ventersdorp in the North West and has been running Malao Farming since 2002.

The business employs 10 people permanently.

“I grew up in a farming family, I have been in farming for a long time. In 2002, I branched out and bought my first five commercial Brahman heifers.”

Over the years he bought cattle at different intervals to grow his herd. 

Today, he has three sizable farms and a very healthy number of cows which he is reluctant to divulge its number.

“It goes against African culture to reveal the number of cattle that a man owns, but I have a very good number,” he said with a shy chuckle.

What is evident in Malao’s herd and character is that he has cracked the code of cattle farming with the assistance of the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

He recently received a herd of 25 pregnant Boran cows, a cattle weight scale, manure spreader, feed mixer, four-row planter, a handling facility that can accommodate a hundred (100) cattle, sighting and drilling of a borehole through the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP).

The CASP programme is aimed at expanding the provision of agricultural support services to subsistence, smallholding and black commercial farmers from a previously disadvantaged background.  “The support I received from the government will help with the management of my herd ,” said Malao.

He also wears many hats as he holds a degree in Industrial Psychology from Nelson Mandela University (former University of Port Elizabeth) and a post graduate diploma in Management from the University of Cape Town. He has worked as Research and Skills Coordinator for the Rustenburg Local Municipality between 2007 and 2012.

“I believe I was born a farmer… During the time I was employed, I learned structure which has helped me in structuring my business.”

How to be a successful farmer

With his wealth of experience, Malao said he loves imparting knowledge and seeing emerging farmers succeed in agriculture.

He adds that to run a prosperous farming business, the following steps need to be followed;

  1. Farming needs passion to succeed.
  2. Farming is a science, emerging farmers need to have a methodology in how they farm. A farmer should keep a record of the weight and progress of the herd.
  3. cattle farmers should invest in a proper bull because it is the foundation of a good herd.
  4. Good nutrition impacts the fertility of the herd.
  5. The herd must be given vitamins and minerals as supplements.
  6. Cows need to be weighed this helps in keeping track of their growth.
  7. Diseases can kill a small business, so it is important to vaccinate the herd.
  8. Enrol for a short course around farming with the Agricultural Research Council.

“I am very passionate about what I do and I love seeing other up- and - coming farmers grow. In 2019, I donated 10 Boran bulls to emerging farmers in the North West. Furthermore, I recently donated 500 straws of Boran bull's semen to emerging farmers. All beneficiaries were selected by the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,” concluded Malao.¥  

For more information about the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development visit www.dard.nwpg.gov.za

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