- Elias Pangane had dreams to venture into the construction business but he is now one of the biggest farmers in Hazyview
- Pangane says he started his business selling veggies and farm produce from his bakkie but he now has Shoprite among his clientele
- The former subsistence farmer, Pangane's story from grass to grace is truly an inspiration to many in Mzansi
One could liken the story of Elias Pangane to one of rags to riches and Briefly News looks at the former subsistence farmer’s journey to greatness. Pangane launched his farming journey planting mielies purely to feed his family but he has since realised there's more to it.
He has managed to turn a humble backyard operation into a fully-fledged business that now supplies one of Africa’s largest retail groups, Shoprite.
As a passionate farmer, Pangane’s first love was in the construction industry as he looked for a stable and sustainable income. Pangane told Briefly News in a statement:
“While working in construction, I farmed part-time to supplement our groceries. From time to time I would have excess produce, which I sold on the streets of Hazyview out the back of my bakkie.
“At the time I knew nothing about pricing. So, I made a loss and I had to throw away some of my produce as they had a short shelf life.
“During those days of struggling, it didn't dawn on me that my passion could end up being a lucrative business supplying for the Shoprite Group, Africa’s biggest retailer.”
Pangane recounts how an opportunity to farm on a full-time basis availed itself, saying the past 12 years have been a rewarding journey for him.
The ambitious farmer says he took over the family farming business, owned by his retiring dad, and everything improved in 2009 when an investor aided small-scale farmers in the area to install a drip irrigation system. He added:
“The past 12 years have been great, and my relationship with the Shoprite Group changed my business completely. When I started I only knew how to farm - I knew nothing about pricing and many other business-related concerns required to supply for a retail company. But the people at Shoprite held my hand.”
Moreover, the self-taught farmer continued to give credit to Mzansi's chain store, Shoprite, whom he says has continued to offer valuable advice. He explained:
“Shoprite is giving us the ability to create employment for the people of Hazyview. When I started I had two seasonal employees who came during the harvest period - now I employ 34 people.
“My passion has turned into a legacy I can proudly leave for my children. Farmers never retire, but I am happy that when I am ready to rest, my children will confidently take over the reins. They will be also equipped with education, something I never had when I started.”
Meanwhile, Pangane now has vegetable and macadamia nut farms and is in the business with five of his children - two of whom are now pursuing degrees in related fields at the University of the Free State.
Briefly News also published an article on a young farmer with the Twitter handle @new_shana who recently headed to the popular app to share a heartwarming celebration post after he invested in 40 hectares of farming land - something he said he spent blood, sweat and tears to do.
In the highly inspirational and motivational post, the young man also explains that he is now working overtime to find people to invest in the property and this has definitely not been something easy to do.
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