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Female farmer: Cultivating her success by turning the soil

Female farmer with her cattle
Agripreneur: Moji Kodisang is a female farmer from Thaba Nchu in the Free State

From subsistence farming to a fully commercialised establishment. This mean feat is still astonishing to the founder of the Milton Agricultural Primary Cooperative, and female farmer Moji Precious Kodisang.  The farm based in rural outskirts of Thaba Nchu in the Free State is a beacon of hope and for this founder represents validated dreams, says the mother of three, who was born and bred in Bloemfontein. 


Although hers was not a dream born from childhood, Kodisang found her passion in farming, which is her husband’s inheritance. She transitioned from being a sceptic to an active participant in her husband’s agricultural endeavours.

Over time, her role evolved and she soon became a driving force in their agribusiness.


“His passion really inspired me to venture into the business with him and I could tell the moment I entered the journey I saw the business doing well and thriving like never before, from that moment I knew that this is a place where God wants me to be,” she admits.


Today there is no doubt that Kodisang is making waves in the agriculture sector as a young black female farmer. From Humble beginnings to fully operational Kodisang specialises in crop, livestock and fodder production. But it has not always been like this.

Witnessing her husband's love and enthusiasm for farming, along with his exceptional skill and ability to produce measurable outcomes sparked her love for farming and that's when Milton Agricultural Primary Cooperative was born.


She became a full-time farmer in 2016 but only registered her company in 2017. Milton Agricultural Cooperative operates on a massive 311-hectare farm, with an additional by 90ha of communal land. She also owns another 50ha of land on a different site. The farm produces maize, sunflower, soybeans, Teff eragrostis fodder and maize straws.


But its pride and joy is also pride themselves with quality Bonsmara cattle and pig production. The Bonsmara cattle are then sold and their meat is exported as Grade A.


“As emerging commercial farmers, the journey was not easy as their maize production was severely affected by lack of irrigation system such as centre pivots and water rights.” From lack to government benefactor Kodisang highlights that as an emerging farmer aspiring to become commercial farming requires a lot of support from both private sector and government.


“Capitalising the business is one of the major challenges especially for us female black farmers, because farming requires a lot of capital to procure production inputs such as diesel, seeds, fertiliser and chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides.


Over the past two years she has had to contend with the harsh reality of revenue after losing 80ha of soyabeans to the ground due to the lack of a harvester. Despite not having enough capacity the they’s been using broke down. The owner of the one she had rented called it back before they could harvest. This meant missing out on potential revenue of R1.5 per year. “I could have made an income of 1.6million rand, in 2023 harvesting season the same thing repeated itself and I lost an income of 1.8million rand”. She adds that


“Losing such a significant amount of crops due to the lack of proper equipment like a harvester can be incredibly frustrating and financially devastating.”


SOUND ADVICE

Like everything else that leads to success, farming requires patience and perseverance, resilience, time management skills and ensure that you do research and attend trainings. Above all it requires hard work.”



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Editor's note

American novelist Louisa May Alcott said it best when she said “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

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