- A young farmer has worked hard to achieve his dream
- He quit his job to pursue full-time farming
- His work has been recognised with awards
A local farmer from Ga-Rankuwa has broken through barriers and won acclaim for his skills and admirable hustle. Thabo Ramaphala has been named the 2019 winner by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Young Farmer and Young Entrepreneur in the commercial farming categories.
The 32-year-old was praised for the assistance he gives to young farmers in the area. His farm employs 18 people. The founder of Fine Living Farms was first introduced to farming in 2014 after visiting his aunt, who sold chickens. He realised that it was a profitable business.
After completing his studies in accounting and finance, he worked as an auditor in London.
After returning to work, he asked for a further three months' unpaid leave so he could explore poultry and agriculture.
He resigned shortly afterwards and started selling chickens until he could lease a small plot to use as a farm. Through hard work and dedication, he achieved a milestone after being the 2016 second runner-up in the Top Entrepreneur for Small Holdings. Two years later, he was first runner-up.
His mantra is to not give up. He keeps challenging himself to be better. He started with poultry but has expanded to crops like herbs, watermelon and spinach. He purchased the land he used to lease and is hoping to move to a bigger farm.
Ramaphala said he was now selling at least 4 000 chickens weekly. However, his new focus is on crops because they have a higher turnover with lower risks.
He says poultry currently has too much competition and the returns are not as good. He explained that the chickens can become a liability is they aren't sold fast enough and end up consuming most of the feed.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!