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Farming for a sustainable future

By Drum Digital
29 June 2018

Badge’s passion for farming helped him grow and carve a successful career in agriculture

He may not have been able to attend school due to a lack of funding, but Moniwa Badge Skosana worked hard to uplift himself. He has been farming since 2011, and hasn’t looked back.
Badge farms maize and soya beans in a crop rotation system on a 1 750-hectare piece of land in the Balmoral district of Mpumalanga. His wife, Sofia Skosana, also enjoys farming and regularly visits the farm to assist with planting radishes, onions and tomatoes, which are sold to locals in Siyabuswa where she lives with the children while they attend school.
Badge emphasises he grew up on a farm in Carolina district and simply loves farming and the fruitful rewards.
“We’re doing well on the farm here,” the 65-year-old farmer says with a chuckle. “We also have 160 cattle, 10 goats and too many chickens to count.”
Badge has been selling his maize and soya beans through Afgri Grain Management since 2013. He loves ploughing the land and seeing the crops sprout after all the hard work. What started from a small-scale endeavour now sees yields of 2 500 tons of maize per harvest.
Badge got his love of farming from his father who ploughed the land, and learnt Afrikaans from white farmers while growing up on the farm. He’s endlessly proud of his 21-year-old son, Andile, who is currently completing his studies in agriculture. His firstborn, Temba, also assists on the farm and he’s proud that two of his four children are walking in his footsteps.
Badge began his career as a contractor building roads in Mpumalanga, which provided an income for 15 years. He later decided to pursue his passion and started to farm. He leased a piece of land from the government and made his dream a reality.
While the first year of farming was hard, he is thankful for the guidance Harvest Time Investments offered in empowering him with support and helpful recommendations.
Lack of rain has proven to be a struggle, but Badge says measures were put in place and crop insurance with Afgri helped immensely when yields were low, allowing him to afford to continue farming and pay back the money once he made a profit from the next harvest. The organisation also assists with the marketing of his harvest.
Today Badge has 16 farm workers who also live with him on the farm. Their day starts at 7am and ends at 5pm, like many city dwellers, but their yields are fruitful and the produce provides food, jobs and a fully-fledged business based on agriculture and cultivating the land.

Badge is working towards owning his own piece of land to farm on, which will allow his children to build a future on the farm.