Agripreneurship 101: A look into the jam-making industry

Gontse Selaocoe sacrificed his short-term desire for a long-term goal. Now the young agri-processing entrepreneur is reaping the rewards.

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In 2019, Gontse Selaocoe (22) started a jam-making business with just R1000. The Orange Farm local came up with the funds by saving his travel money – instead of taking public transport he walked home from his school in Lenasia, Gauteng, every day.  

Initially, as someone who has a deep love for Pantsula, his aim was to buy a pair of Converse shoes. However, he changed his mind after matriculating, and instead used his saved-up funds to start his agro-processing business, which he called All Day Jam

jam-making: Selaocoe learnt how to make jam from his grandmother. Photo: Supplied/Food for Mzansi
Gontse Selaocoe learnt how to make jam from his grandmother. Photo: Supplied/Food for Mzansi

Selaocoe’s decision to start making jam was inspired by his grandparents. The jam recipes come from his grandmother’s pantry, and his ability to grow produce was a skill taught to him by his grandfather.  

The young agri-processing entrepreneur has the following advice for those who want to enter the jam-making business: 

Just start 

“For financing (jam-making), you don’t need a lot. Start with what you have, as long as you start, and you’ve done the research.” 

Plant your own produce 

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“With jam manufacturing, planting your own fruits and vegetables then producing jam [is cheaper], because it gets too expensive buying from the market. When producing your own and manufacturing your own produce, it’s cheaper and simple.” 

You need passion 

“It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and passion. You have to have passion for what you are doing and what you love.” 

Research is very, very important 

“Do research on how other people are manufacturing their jams. Check out the cheapest ways [to do it] and don’t spend too much on producing the product. You also have to find the cheapest supplier, especially in relation to the bottling and the sugar.” 

ALSO READ: Meet the Pantsula jamming toward sweet success 

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