June 2024 1st Edition

Young farmer turns passion into profit

Written by Sinovuyo Mfiki

In the lush landscapes of Tsolo, Eastern Cape,  Nceba Mkuyana's farming journey depicts a journey of perseverance and passion. 
Born and raised in the village of Mjika Mqobiso, Mkuyana's journey into agriculture began at the age of nine, encouraged by the guidance of his late father.

I used to help my father when he was busy in the garden. He taught me how to farm on communal land and how to maintain my plants,” Mkuyana said.

“Unfortunately in 2014 my father passed on,  but I kept on farming during school holidays. I would spend them planting vegetables and maize.”

“In 2019,  I started farming as a business and not as a hobby anymore. I named my business Mkuyana Agric Enterprise,” he said.
“I used my savings as capital to start my business. I am still applying for funding with the hope that I will get it and grow my business to a higher level.”

The following year, 2020, brought its own set of trials as he faced the harsh reality of nutrient-deficient soil, which hampered his cabbage yields after transplanting 1600 seedlings. 

Only four hundred cabbages found buyers, highlighting the urgent need for soil enrichment. With the assistance of the national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Development soil samples were analysed in 2021, revealing the deficiencies.
Mkuyana has been able to bounce back and now farms cabbage, spinach and maize.

“My produce is sold to communities, schools and fruit and vegetable markets in town. Having to sell in the village helps the people who cannot afford to go to town.” 

His story serves as a testament to the resilience of Eastern Cape's farming community and the unyielding spirit of those who till the soil, undiscouraged by harsh conditions.

Due to the setback that he experienced and being an emerging business, Mkuyana Agric Enterprise hires only one person on a part-time basis.

“My future plans are to focus more on distributing my product all over South Africa,” he concluded. 

For more information about Mkuyana Agric Enterprise contact Nceba Mkuyana at  063 057 2075 Nmkuyana293@gmail.com 

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