Kagiso's passion for farming nurtured from childhood

Kagiso Ntloedibe plants butternut seeds on his farm in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.
Kagiso Ntloedibe plants butternut seeds on his farm in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.

Kagiso Ntloedibe quit his job as an information technology (IT) technician to focus on farming his family land.

Ntloedibe, 29, is so passionate about farming that he relocated from GaRankuwa, north of Pretoria, to his maternal home in Hammanskraal to toil his ancestral land. He studied IT at Belgium Campus, Pretoria, from 2009 to 2011, then went on to further his studies at Rosebank College in Joburg, where he studied project management.

After his employment, he realised that farming was his calling. This changed his life. "I quit my job in 2014 to focus on my farm," he said. He quickly realised that he needed funds to pursue his dream.

He then started his own IT company, Mushumo IT Solutions, to help fund his farm.

Ntloedibe said it was also very expensive to start his farm, Bashumi Fresh Produce. "You need money for preparing the land, for irrigation and for borehole water
because obviously, you can't farm without water.

"I needed to source money from somewhere, so the little money that I get from IT was used to develop the farm."

He spent R60000 on just the first phase - fencing and preparing the land.

"We love our government, but it is very hard to get funding from them. Sometimes I don't even have money to
travel from Hammanskraal to government offices, so I rely on myself," he said.

Ntloedibe said his passion for farming came from when he was a child.

"When I was still a kid we had a small garden in which my parents grew carrots, cabbages and spinach."

When his mother inherited land from her grandmother in Hammanskraal, he kept
pestering her for permission to farm on it until she eventually agreed.

"She [his mother] is very happy. My family keeps me going; she even helps me with
research even though she is busy working," he said.

Ntloedibe now supplies vendors in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, and the Johannesburg and Tshwane fresh produce markets with spinach, butternut, cabbage, pumpkin, squash and spring onions.

His ultimate goal is to have hydroponic houses so that he can grow high-end crops and sell them to high-end stores.

Ntloedibe has also studied a course on hydroponic houses at the Agriculture Research Council in order to ready himself for this.