A cow from grandfather sparked Tshabalala's passion for farming
Lerato Tshabalala (32) fell in love with farming as a teenager, when her grandfather gave her a cow.
“My grandfather was a subsistence farmer in Brooksby in Ditsobotla.“As a child, he marked one heifer for me. Over the years, the cow has given birth to more calves,” says Tshabalala, who grew up in Driehoek in Mahikeng, North West.
She has a qualification in human resource management but struggled to find a job. In 2015, she decided to take farming seriously and turn it into a viable business.
“We spent a lot of time visiting my grandfather’s farm and my love for farming grew stronger every time,” she says.
With just 25 cows when she started her business, Tshabalala sold young bulls to buy more heifers to speed up the breeding process. Today, she has 76 cows.
While she specialises in cattle, she plans to expand to breed sheep, goats and also venture into poultry farming.
Tshabalala was among the young female farmers who received bulls from the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
This was part of the department’s distribution programme called Sire Subsidy Scheme.
“The programme aims to assist farmers to make the agricultural sector a more economical one, leading to a general upliftment of the farmers and broader communities. Giving these bulls to women is a demonstration that the government is committed to empowering emerging female farmers to reach their full potential,” says North West MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development
Farmers who benefit from the programme must:
- Own livestock.
- Have a business focus.
- Have an understanding and passion for large stock production.
- Operate in some form of acceptable space, such as a farm or a communal area.
For more information on the Sire Subsidy Scheme, call the department’s Farmer Support Unit at 018 389 5111.
-This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele.