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Grain SA interviews... David Mongoato

January 2016

Grain SA interviews... David MongoatoThis month Ian Househam interviewed David Mongoato who farms on Hanover in the Matatiele District. David is not only dedicated and hard working, but is passionate and loves farming. He hopes to be a commercial farmer in the near future.

Where and on how many hectares are you farming? What do you farm with?

I farm on Hanover in the Matatiele District, in the Eastern Cape Province. I farm on 940 hectares of land, 600 hectares is for grazing and the rest is arable land. I farm with 200 hectares of maize, 50 hectares is under cultivated pastures, of which 13 hectares is lucerne as well as Eragrostis grass.

I also have cattle and sheep and currently I am growing my piggery, where my wife is fully involved. My aim is to have 100 breeding sows in two years time.

What motivates/ inspires you?

What motivates and inspires me the most is seeing the results of my work growing gradually every year.

Describe your strengths and weakness

Strengths: My strength is my hard work and passion. I farm because I love it but I am also treating farming as a business and not a hobby.

Weakness: My weakness is a lack of funding and this is hindering me to grow my business as I would like it to. According to the potential of my farm, I am currently underutilising it, especially when it comes to livestock.

What was your crop yield when you started farming? What are your respective yields now?

When I started farming my crop yield was between 3,4 t/ha to 4 t/ha. My yield is now between 6 t/ha to 7 t/ha on dry land.

What do you think was the main contributor to your progress and success?

The main contributor to my success is my dedication and hard work as I still regard myself as one of the employees at Hanover farm and not as the employer.

What training have you received to date and what training would you still like to do?

I have received training in various courses from Grain SA and have attended the following courses:

  • Introduction to Maize Production;
  • Advanced course in Maize Production;
  • Farming for Profit;
  • Maintenance course; and
  • Business Ethics as well as many other courses.

I am also bettering myself by attending short courses presented at Cedara Collage. I would like to do an Irrigation course as I currently have 60 hectares under pivot irrigation. I would also like to receive training to become computer literate.

Where do you see yourself in five years time? What would you like to achieve?

In five years time I would like to see myself as a fully fledged commercial farmer, farming with different commodities. My focus will be to slaughter and process pork products on the farm and not only supply the market with piglets.

What advice do you have for young aspiring farmers?

My advice to other farmers is to encourage them to continue living on the farms and not to leave. They must take farming seriously and see it as a business and not a hobby.

Article submitted by Ian Househam, Development Co-ordinator of the Grain SA Farmer Development Programme, Kokstad. For more information, send an email to ian@grainsa.co.za.

Publication: January 2016

Section: Pula/Imvula