From tourism to farming – two men bring benefits to Shabalala

WITH the tourism industry bleeding dry as a result of the global pandemic, two locals did not let the circumstances from making a plan to put food on the table and at the same time, bring benefits to their community.

The two former tourist guides, Samora Ngobe and Rufus Makwela said that after the national lockdown saw the tourism industry collapse, they decided to venture into farming on the three hectares available. “After realising that we cannot make our living as usual, we opted for farming because we had rich and arable family land that was available and a market for our products, so we decided to plant all kinds of vegetables,” the’ enterprising duo said.

Rufus Makwela working on the farm

They used their savings to buy plants without any funding but managed to cultivate the available land. “We call the project a COVID-19 project and we now have managed to hire six people temporary staff. We also depend on the money that we make on the farm. Despite the pandemic people want to eat so with farming you will never go wrong if you put your effort in it,” they said.

The duo further said that they plan to push the community to start farming to fight the poverty and unemployment. “Those who have land must stop selling the land for residential purposes while they can use it to farm and make a living on it and create jobs for their families while supplying food to the local shops,” is their advice.

They added that their current challenges at the moment were lack of funds and tools to work with as they have to outsource everything. “We are pleading with local business or government to assist with a tractor. We have enough water but we just need a proper irrigation system, manure, chemicals to kill parasites, a fence and maybe some guidance from an expert in agriculture. If people want to donate money they can, but if they can only give us the tools, we will do the work.”

The two men also own another piece of land on which they want to breed chicken, start a piggery and keep cattle and goat. They also started with bananas and are already seeing a benefit. All they need is a financial injection.

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