A young farmer says job creation is one of his most meaningful milestones.
Mpho Moteka (26), from Qwa Qwa in the Free State, says his passion for agriculture motivated him to establish a farming business to create jobs for locals.
He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Harrismith-based Sterkfontein Farm, which is about 20 kilometres from his hometown.
“I established the business in 2017. It comprises an egg production enterprise that has 300 layers, which are at 80% laying point; a broiler production enterprise, with 700 broilers; and a beef production enterprise, with seven Bonsmara cattle and seven mixed cattle,” says Moteka.
The products sold include day-old chicks, six-week-old broiler chickens, eight-week-old live broiler chickens and consumable eggs.
“We also offer other products, including vegetables, such as cabbage and spinach, and beef,” he adds.
Moteka’s products are distributed in both the formal and informal markets.
Through the business, he has created five permanent jobs and also hires seven seasonal workers.
Moteka believes that job creation is one of the meaningful milestones he has achieved so far.
He says his business has benefited from government’s Illema-Letsema and Recapitalisation Programme, through the Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The national Illema-Letsema and Recapitalisation Programme aims to support emerging farmers. It provides farmers with production inputs, but in a grant format, to encourage optimum production in all agricultural projects, particularly those in communal areas.
“The funding really assisted in increasing production for both our broiler and beef productions,” says Moteka.
How to apply
The department says farmers must keep a look out for its advertisements, published in various media, before they can apply.
Once an application for funding has been advertised, farmers who meet the criteria can submit applications to the department’s district offices and they will be assisted by an agricultural advisor in their town.
Agricultural advisors will present applications to the provincial office, where a decision will be made.
For more information, contact the Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at
051 861 8311.