Humble beginnings meant that Farmer C originally farmed on 50 ha but three years ago this started to change when he joined the Lemang Agricultural Services training and development programme. Here he garnered much-needed training in the form of in-class training, on-farm technical training with agronomists, personal development, as well as basic computer training. Monitoring and mentorship took the form of regular visits to the farm, assistance in managing accounts to ensure payments to input suppliers were made, as well as assistance with pre-season budgeting and spending.
From the humble 50 ha, Farmer C has developed into farming on just over 400 ha, made up of 140 ha of maize, 260 ha of soya beans and 20 ha of sugar beans. Yields have increased so that he is now able to produce between 6 to 9 tons per ha of maize and 1,5 to 3 tons per ha of soya beans. Farmer C’s farm is also run with equipment he was able to finance from the profits. The training, mentorship and development programme has helped Farmer C learn the latest advanced techniques. By winning “Farmer of the Year”, he walked away with a brand-new tractor from John Deere, which will make his operation even more efficient.