With the continued increase in food prices, a young man from Ngcobo, a small town on the outskirts of the Eastern Cape is addressing the increased demand for cost-effective alternatives to the costlier red meat. We sat down with him recently to find out more about him and his pig farm.
What inspired you to be involved in agriculture?
I was inspired by Zodwa Thwala from Prejonet Farm near Hammanskraal, as a former teacher, Zodwa has eight pig houses with 163 breeding pigs, 160 sows, three boars and more than 1 000 growers. She defied the odds and proved that if you are determined and focused, you can make a great farmer, that attitude inspired me.
Why did you choose to farm pigs instead of doing other things within the agricultural sector?
Pig Farming is not only a profitable business; it is also a prevalent business because pork is wildly used and it is in demand especially with the price increase on other meat products.
What is unique about your breed of pigs?
On my farm, I have 3 types of Breeds
1. Large White
2. Land Race
I’m currently breeding large whites and Durocs, this breed has the best quality in meat which is what attracts a majority of my customer base, that’s what motivated my choice of breed.
Being a young farmer from Ngcobo how do you commercialise your business and what challenges do you face?
Being young and new on the market is challenging, and the weather is also a threat in the business, last year I lost 2 pigs due to Pneumonia because my structure is not entirely built.
How do you deal with diseases?
I have vaccine programs for my pigs, this helps me prevent diseases and generally keeps them healthy.
How would you motivate a young aspiring farmer like yourself?
Most young farmers are motived by profit but all I can say is that pig farming has become a way of life for me, it is also a substantial part of the livelihoods of South African people. To be able to make it as a farmer one needs determination, a positive attitude and good mentorship as this is can be a challenging industry.
Where do you see your business in the future?
I see the business providing fast response, informed expertise, and consistently high quality, and the farm will generate enough satisfied repeat customers to provide a stable and retainer base.
The dream is to motivate other young people to be involved in agriculture, and the best way for this is for them to see my business succeed; this will inspire them.
If more young people like Mveliso can be involved in agriculture, we are sure to have a future that is prosperous. Thank you to Mveliso Macingwane for making time to talk to us. We wish you all the best in your business and future endeavours.