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A word from…Jurie Mentz

July 2021

If there is one lesson I learned about agriculture (which can also be applied to life in general) is that when you only talk about something, you are heading in the wrong direction, but to actually do something means you are on the right track. 

Successful farming means an elimination of risks. You must always try and be ahead of the problem and not react because of a problem – like a farmer driving around his fields. If you react because of the problem, you end up chasing the problem. 

It is also true that there will always be new problems that the farmer needs to learn from so that he does not make the same mistakes twice. A farmer cannot do the same thing each year and expect a different outcome.

If you only have a small amount of money available, it is wise to rather plant a smaller area than to try and use that amount of money to plant a larger area. This is an infamous trap into which you may fall if you are not careful. Be as productive as possible on your piece of land before trying to go bigger without enough funds.

There is a Zulu saying Indlela ibuzwa kwa bapambili. Roughly translated it means that you should ask those that are ahead of you about the road on which you are travelling. A few examples of these are: 

  • Neighbours who know the climate, soil types and weather conditions of the particular area.  
  • Various input providers who are all too willing to help you reach your goal. 
  • Resources which are easily available via the internet. 
  • Attend any course, farmer’s day and study group meeting of which you are aware.

When we are talking farming, the road less travelled does not make the difference; the difference is made by knowledge of what to expect and an eagerness to do something about it.

Publication: July 2021

Section: Pula/Imvula