RUTH SCHULTZ, SA GRAAN/GRAIN CONTRIBUTOR
“I know farming is difficult, but the most important thing is courage, courage, courage, courage,” were the words of Maurice Mthandeki Boki, after he was announced as the Grain SA/Absa Developing Grain Producer of the Year for 2013.
Maurice grew up in the mountainous area of Matatiele. After working in Johannesburg, he returned to his hometown and bought a trading station which still exists.
In 1995 he bought the farm, Horncroft, between Cedarville and Taylorville through the Land Bank. It is here where he has since been building his farming enterprise. His cattle and maize is testimonial of a man who is truly passionate about farming. “You have to have a passion for what you are doing. Set goals for yourself so that you know what you want to achieve,” he said in a DVD presentation at the gala dinner.
As Maurice expanded, he leased additional land. He currently farms on just less than 1 000 hectares of which well over half is arable. He believes in advancing his crop farming through seed technology, focusing on good performance in his area. Even in the dry season he harvests over 5 tons per hectare that is marketed for him by PSP in Kokstad.
“The achievement I obtained tonight is because of God and not because of me. I still have to pray harder, because standing here presents another challenge; it means I have to work even harder now,” he said during his appreciation speech.