Young farmer Michael Mokime has business acumen
Agro-entrepreneur Michael Mokime is a man who wears many hats, including providing training and mentorship to emerging farmers, through his company Bolimi Bokamoso.
Mokime, 30, says he does practical farming, agro-processing and wholesale trade to markets. He also does agricultural business management training around the John Taolo Gaetsewe district of Kuruman, in the Northern Cape.
"I started the farming business Bokamoso in 2013. I had to sell some of my livestock for R98000 to fund the business since it was a start-up. I farm with cattle, sheep and poultry farming, besides the fresh produce side of the business.
"A year after I started, in 2014, I started yielding some returns, some of my costs are being covered but I have broken even," he said.
Farming came naturally to Mokime as his parents owned a farm.
"Agriculture is a lucrative business; you only need land, seeds, livestock feed, labour and fuel and you are in business."
The business provides employment to full- and part-time workers, but Mokime also outsources some services.
The full-time employees are the farm manager, administration clerk, marketing manager and livestock truck driver. The 15 part-time workers assist during the calfing, cutting of the bulls' horns, renovation of the farm barns and other seasonal work.
Services Mokime outsources are land surveying, accounting and agro economy, whereby an expert advises him on markets.
"I also work with other farmers in the area, especially the black emerging farmers. As Bokamoso, I also help open markets to local farmers. If the market orders 200 crates of spinach a day for instance, my farming colleagues have to deliver without fail.
"Constant delivery guarantees recognition. It is the only way we can open the market for us black farmers to put our products out there."
Mokime says apart from mining, agriculture is a big employer in Kuruman, and he is optimising the use of the vast tracts of land the area offers.