Who am I?
I am Peter S. Ngoma, a passionate 28 years old agricultural Research Assistant in South Africa. I have been a research assistant for over 3 and half years and previously I worked as a junior soil fertility specialist in the commercial sector of the South African Agricultural Industry.
Having grown up in rural areas of the Mpumalanga Province in South Africa, I developed passion for agriculture at a young age. But then I realized that the farming businesses of a majority of Small Holder Farmers (including my late father) were failing and closing down. As a result, these farmers abandoned acres and acres of land and either moved out, or just find jobs in the cities and use farms as a mere residential place.
I, therefore, wanted to start a business that could address this challenge. Hence, I persued tertiary education in Agriculture and obtained my National Diploma of Crop Production in the year 2008.
Brief Market Overview
The Agricultural Industry of South Africa can be divided into 3, namely Commercial Farming, Emerging/Small-holder Commercial Farming, as well as Subsistance growers.
Commercial farmers are responsible for the production of about 90% of locally produced agricultural produce, while Small Holder Farmers account to a major part of the 10% production. Subsistane farmers are mainly home garden growers and they grow crops for home consumption.
Government programs such as the Land Restitution, Masibuyele Emasini (Let’s go back to farming), and others have resulted in an increased number of small holder farmers and this number continues to grow very fast. For that reason, I believe any company that rolls out strategies to capture this growing market has a great future.
The Emerging/Small-Holder farmers and subsistent farmers find themselves being unprofitable in their businesses. This is because of the lack of knowledge and skills, a gap between these farmers and institutions of innovation/research, as well as lack of agricultural services and products that are specifically developed to suit this market. The dynamics of the market of Small-Holder farmers are different from those of commercial farmers. Meaning, services and products must be carefully designed to suit this market for optimum profits. This is probably the reason why big institutions are reluctant to tap into this market.
I am therefore planning to start an Agricultural Information and Product Outlet/Shop that will cater for the needs of Small Holder farmers and Subsistent Home garden growers.
My business will sell agricultural production inputs, household pesticides, basic agricultural tools, and also offer services like on-farm consultations, workshops, seminars, and other information days.
With the guidance of Moment Business Consultants, I have done an extensive market research and compiled a very convincing business plan that proves that my business will be financially viable from the beginning.
The first step of starting my business was to conduct market research and compile a business plan which costed me over US$1500 to complete. Now I need to raise capital, acquire resources like shop furniture, get stock, prepare for the launch, finalize the date, invite farmers’ unions and individual farmers. Finally, launch and open the shop.
The success of my business will be measured by sales made, reaching of sales targets, conversion of supplier-client relationship into sales, growth in sales, as well as the impact of our products and services to the customers’ farming businesses.
How the grant will be spent
The US$5000 would be a massive boost for the successful establishment of my business. US$800 for shop furniture; US$230 for cashier machine; US$2100 for stock; US$350 marketing & promotions; US$360 for rent; US$550 for building upgrading.
There may be slight increases of cost prices for some of the items, but we are not expecting the increases to be above 10%, hence the remaining US$610 will be reserved for any unexpected price increases.
Please press “like” and also post your comments on my article on this blog so that I can stand a chance of being in the top 20 of the Young Agripreneur Project.
Blogpost and pictures submitted by Peter S. Ngoma (South Africa) – soil(at)hygrotech.co.za
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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