Celebrate with us, Mzansi, because we have just produced the 100th episode of our flagship podcast. And it’s all thanks to you – the farmers who share their stories, the entrepreneurs and experts who share their advice, and the listeners for whom we do it every week. With more than 200 downloads every week from 92 different countries so far, the founding team members chat about this milestone.
At just over two years old, Farmer’s Inside Track has already been nominated for multiple awards. The podcast has a following across the globe, including listeners in the United States, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, the United Kingdom and even Peru and Germany.
Dawn Noemdoe, Farmer’s Inside Track host and Food For Mzansi’s audience and engagement editor, is stunned at how much the podcast has grown in just two years. “I’m happy with what we’ve achieved in just two years. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I think about how much we’ve grown our audience.”
Noemdoe says that, initially, the podcast was meant to highlight how diverse the agricultural sector is in South Africa – a vision that lines up perfectly with the Food For Mzansi’s ethos. “Our podcast is specifically aimed at empowering new farmers and agripreneurs in Mzansi. Although we started with exclusive farming profile stories, each episode now offers ‘how to advice’ that coincides with the Farmer’s Inside Track article published on Food For Mzansi.”
Practical and popular
Given the practical nature of the Farmer’s Inside Track features, it is understandable why it is one of the more popular segments among readers and listeners.
Noemdoe explains that listeners have access to a wealth of information from many different agricultural industries. “You can listen to anything from how to start a hydroponics farm and growing cannabis to tips to write a business plan.
“The free podcast contains a perfect mix of exclusive content from industry thought leaders, and expert business and entrepreneurship advice from leading farmers and entrepreneurs. We’ve even extended to a new weekend edition published on Saturdays.”
Kobus Louwrens, co-founder of Food For Mzansi and strategy director, says that when the podcast was first put together, he was keen to shine a light on underrepresented voices.
“I was excited to be experimenting with this new medium and format that lets you do radio programming without having to have a radio station. We looked forward to bringing a whole new variety of voices from South African agriculture to listeners’ ears.”
Louwrens says that the work put into Farmer’s Inside Track by the podcast team is evident in how it has evolved. “[Celebrating 100 episodes] is an amazing milestone, and a great testament to the work of our entire podcast team that has led it to evolve and grow over 100 episodes. They pack it full of value every week – twice a week now – and it is no small task.”
In future, Louwrens is keen to see the podcast continuing to innovate, inform and expand. “I would love for the podcast to keep having babies – like the relatively new weekend edition – and to continue to experiment with new topics and formats to serve its growing listener base in new and exciting ways.”
Farmer’s Inside Track co-host and head of news for Food For Mzansi, Duncan Masiwa, is also over the moon with how the podcast has evolved. “100 episodes! It’s hard to believe that we’ve grown so much in such a short space of time, and it’s really an honour to be part of a podcast that gives Mzansi’s food producers a platform for information, entertainment and inspiration.”
Other podcast highlights:
The other highlights on this week’s Farmer’s Inside Track are:
- Vegetable farming 101: Anastasia Smith, a vegetable farmer from the Western Cape, gives us the inside scoop on vegetable farming.
- Summer crop production: There are early indications that South African farmers intend to plant more summer crops for the next production year. We speak to Paul Makube from FNB for some insight.
- Agri gap year: With Peritum Agri Institute and Reitz Landbou Akademie, prospective students have the chance to get first-hand agricultural experience. Odette Sheperson, Peritum’s marketing manager, breaks it down for us.
- Agripreneur 101: The moringa plant is famed for its health properties. Tshepo Ntemane, founder of Moringa Lifestyle SA, tells us more about the moringa business.
- Two years, 100 episodes: We share some of our podcast highlights from the last two years.
- Book of the week: Carolien Samson, from Access Bank, shares her top three book picks of the week, as chosen by farmers. She chats about Land Matters by Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, The Soil will save us by Kristin Ohlson, and Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown.
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