Nomathemba Langa (29) is running a successful farm, which she is also using as a training centre for aspirant farmers and recovering addicts.
Langa is the founder of Inyama Yethu, a 326-hectare farm in the Zvezda Game Resort in Brits in North West, that breeds and raises pigs, cattle, goats and game, and processes the meat in its own butchery.
Langa registered the business in November 2015, after she underwent piggery training. “After my training, I knew I had to register my own company and comply with the red meat regulations to grow as a business,” she says.
Langa, who has also benefited from other training courses, now mentors final-year students from the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the Tompi Seleke College of Agriculture in Limpopo.
She also trains recovering substance abuse addicts and people interested in farming.
“Helping recovering addicts is my way of giving back to the community, as it is this community that supports our business,” she says.
Her farm is accredited by the Agriculture Sector Education Training Authority (Seta), among others.
“I realised people need proper training when it comes to animal production and business management, and registered our farm with the Setas,” she says.
The accredited training Langa provides helps people who want to venture into agriculture gain entrepreneurial skills that will help them start their own business.
To date, she has mentored 39 students from various tertiary institutions and trained 15 more.
“We offer training throughout the year for third-year students and conduct our own training twice a year,” she says.
Langa received assistance from various entities to boost her business. These include the National Youth Development Agency; Coronavirus Disease Relief Fund for farmers; North West Economic Development Department, which helped her with package design and labelling; and the Small Enterprise Development Agency, which assisted with branding.
Langa advises aspirant farmers to undergo training before they begin.
“You must do a lot of research on the value chain before deciding to rear pigs or other animals. You must also be passionate and patient when it comes to agriculture, and set your sights on achieving your goals,” she says.