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Things you need to know before quitting your job to start farming.


Mbali Nwoko - 4th Jun 2020 - 30 comments

Looking back at my journey and how I ventured into farming, I wish I could have consulted with more farmers and have done more planning and preparation into what I was getting myself into. Having learnt from some of my mistakes, I thought that I would share some important facts about farming that I think you should know, before quitting your job to become a farmer.

Know your WHY
Firstly, it’s important to know why you want to start farming and if you can’t answer that question, then stick to your 9-5. Seriously. At the end of the day, farming is a business and I’ve seen people go into farming because land and funding was made available to them and they thought that they would make a success of it when they had no initial plan in place. Be honest with yourself and invest your time and energy into something you have a passion for, and if it happens to be farming, then so be it.

You have to be mentally fit.
If you easily become frustrated over small things and tend to quit when the going gets tough, then this is not the industry for you. Farmers are resilient and some may say that the resilience is built over time, however, I believe that you have to have some level of resilience within you before you decide to become a farmer because your character will get tested in ways that you could not imagine.

Be hands-on.
I will never get tired of saying this, you have to be hands-on as a farmer. Established farmers that I know, are still very active in their businesses today. They know what goes on in their farms at every level of their production and no employee can tell them otherwise. They have worked hard and paid their dues to what many will see as a well-run farm and business today.

It takes time to realise the money.
If you think farming is a “get rich quick scheme” then I will be the first to disappoint you and tell that it’s not. It takes time (months or years) to realise the return on your investment depending on what field you are in. Therefore, don’t be in a rush to make money fast, do things right the first time, without cutting corners and you shall be rewarded.

Farming is not cheap.
The capital outlay to starting a farm comes at a hefty price, but there are ways to working around this, especially on things such as infrastructure and equipment for example. Not everything can be solved using the DIY approach and there are certain aspects in this business that one cannot compromise on for the sake of saving money.

So, before quitting your job to start farming, have a plan in place that will ensure the success of your farm. Speak to other farmers and do as much research as possible. Farming can be rewarding on so many levels and I wish you nothing but the best for your business.

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30 comments

  1. KENEWANG SEBIGI

    Mbali as a farmer to be in the making this is so empowering and to know there are farmers like you sharing their knowledge is priceless , kudos to you mam

    • Duduzile Patience Maduna

      I have learn a lot it a huge dream of mine to fulfill that one day I want to farm produce organic products for my society and be innovative and create opportunities for my people who are Unemployed and also people who want to learn and become farmers one day.

  2. Tinoda Mushamba

    Hmm yah that’s so true, and I have learnt a lot especially when it comes to being tested. Troubles will come left right and center mara one got to keep the faith and hang on. True profits will not come in the first few months but if one keeps their head up eventually it will pay off

  3. Ntsika

    Thank you for continue sharing we learning everyday an old say no one knows it all. I believe if anything you do is something that you not passionate about you won’t make nothing out of it. A lot of us grew up in the rural areas practicing integrated farming and soon as we finished school we were told to leave just like our fathers left to work for someone in the cities because they couldn’t make living out of farming but thank God some of us did not loose what was instilled growing up and therefore we want to go back there (sibuyele embo) and learn how to do farming and make profit out of it.

  4. Obakeng

    Hi Mbali, Thank you for the continued information you keep providing, I have been involved in farming but somehow second hand, my family is into farming however more focused onto livestock, we have tried other avenues like crop farming but it hasn’t been as successful as livestock. I personally have developed a huge love for crops, and have been researching and embarking into back yard growing and trying out my own growing. To cut a long story short, Based on the lessons ii have learned , i am now ready to put proper plan in motion for a big jump from 9-5 into farming, so with that being said, i am looking at a course to study in the mean time, are there any which you can advise on?

  5. Keobiditse Disipi

    True farming is business and not quick cash scheme. Passion driven by perseverance which is boosted by timing, cooperation, determination and dedication is a basic way to go. Basic way to go but it’s not simple to start because knowledge and experience need to in the fore front to safe your costs, otherwise you’ll lose lot of revenue because inexperience makes you careless in everything which involve decision make. Wrong decision are poisonous to the business.

  6. Mbonisi

    Nice piece, we need more blacks getting into farming

  7. Sabalala Xaba

    I’m very interested in farming as i grew up on a farm and after reading this it opened my eyes and i hope to get more information from you so i can make a decisive decision.

  8. Zondile

    My current employer has decided to introduce section 189, retrenchment
    Just before lockdown I have started with Pigery and now I am aiming to start with poultry
    Do you think I am in a right direction?
    Poultry, I want to start with broilers as early as 1 day chicks and the after six month, introduce the Layers
    Please advise

  9. Thato

    Interesting read. Do you think one can keep their 9 to 5 and still farm in order to use their 9 to 5 salary to keep the farm going before making money? Or will it not work.

  10. Obakeng Keebine

    Hi Mbali, Thank you so much for the insights. My family has been involved in farming for some years now, so to a large extend i have been part of it however chose a career in what i am doing today. The farming we have been a part is is however a livestock farming, we have tried to venture into some ventures like crops , however not so successful as livestock. Given the lessons I learned it then dawned on me that I prefer crop productions over livestock, So i have been doing my researches and my own investigation on how I can go about to transitioning from my 9-5, I have also been doing my own backyard planting of veges we consume in the house. So I am ready to to the jumping, so i have been looking at courses to study so that I wont make much unnecessary mistakes, is there a course , preferable short course with practicals that you can advise on?

  11. Mahlangu Nonkokhelo

    Thank you! fo sharing 🤝 we appreciate

  12. Vusi

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Alex

    This is an honest advice you just provided there. Farming is not about popularity slogans
    It is hard work and it’s all about actions. I haven’t started yet to be honest but I will be starting in a matter of a year

    Thank you for what you just shared with us there

  14. Chijioke Ndem

    Constant education to aspiring farmers is paramount to success in agribusiness. Agribusiness is profitable and has alot of peace offering but it comes with a bouquet of challenges as well. Vital is the fact that as an aspiring farmer you must spend huge time researching and networking opportunities and above try to be o ground to do or get things done.

  15. NL Dubazane

    I find it very interesting too and wish to further be informed about further
    more challenges and receive some information correspondence from you.

  16. Madumetja Teffo

    I like the way you encourage us as new or aspirants into farming to be thoughtful & make research. The current generation of Afrikaners is the third. On my research amongst the few, they are worried that they face extinction or disappearing. The problem today on farming to them is not about race but interest of the current generation to see Agriculture more appealing to them. The current support system is also questionable since land & resources can be given to a person who never tried anything in farming.

  17. Mbongiseni

    Very informative, yet realistic piece of advice. My passion is in cattle farming. I’m currently renting out a farm around Mooi River where my cattle are kept. But my full time job is teaching.

    • Mbali Nwoko

      if you need help with your cattle production I would advise you contacting Sernick Group and or Bonsmara Association, they do a lot of work on the ground assisting cattle farmers.

  18. Lucky

    This really help me.. Or rather shaped my mind in making a sound decision.

    Thank you very much

    How can I get more information or a platform that can give me more information and details because I really want to do this ngingumuntu wasemakhaya

    Ngicela usizo

    • Mbali Nwoko

      Hi Lucky, please watch my videos on YouTube as I know that they will be of great value to you. You are fortunate to be umuntu wasemakhaya ngoba indawo yokulima is in abundance.

  19. Kamogelo

    Thanks for great advice and I am looking forward to learn alot from you.

  20. Martha

    Amazing work.Inspired

  21. Palisa

    Hi Mbali

    Thank you so much for such information and encouraging words.

    Where can I get funding for farming if don’t. Capital ?but willing to start cattle farming business.

  22. Vuyokazi Kori

    I would like information on Poultry farming

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