Food For Mzansi today lifts the veil on Farmer’s Inside Track, an exclusive platform for up-and-coming farmers and new entrants into agri-businesses who are hungry for information and inspiration to help them start up and get up to sprinting speed as commercial producers and/or agri-processors.
Farmer’s Inside Track – available in different platforms, including videos, podcasts, a weekly e-mailer, a WhatsApp line and a bustling Facebook group – is the result of months of behind-the-scenes work to accelerate the journey of hundreds of agriculturists who have reached out to Food For Mzansi since its launch in November 2018.
Whilst Food For Mzansi broke new ground as the country’s only agricultural lifestyle and news platform, its co-founder Ivor Price says Farmer’s Inside Track will be locked down for farmers and agripreneurs exclusively. He says, “It has been an amazing year. Since our launch nearly 300 000 people have been inspired by our digital efforts to salute agriculture’s unsung heroes. In fact, those 300 000 people have been quite a busy bunch, clocking about 7,5 million social media and website impressions. We believe that Farmer’s Inside Track is a much-needed lifeline for new farmers and agripreneurs.”
Kobus Louwrens, fellow co-founder of Food For Mzansi, says despite the success there was one thing they didn’t foresee. “That was that many of the very heroes of the agri-sector whose stories we were finding and telling to South Africans had never clicked that the sector belonged to them too. They say upfront that before Food For Mzansi they never had a media platform that catered to their specific needs.”
Louwrens says many saw themselves “unconditionally represented and accepted as farmers and agripreneurs, without any qualifiers, for the first time in their lives. Yes, they thanked us for telling their stories and honouring their contribution to South Africa, but they also reached out in droves with questions and requests for advice and assistance. We channelled as many of these as we could to our industry partners, but we also realised that we had to find a better solution; that we needed to serve them better.”
With Farmer’s Inside Track they now have free, but exclusive, access to content as well as an online community that aims to support up-and-coming commercial farmers through that tricky phase of their businesses that comes between the starter pistol and finding their stride in the sprint towards the finish line.
At the centre of it is a weekly Farmer’s Inside Track e-mailer containing a mix of exclusive content from agricultural thought leaders, business and entrepreneurship experts and leading farmers as well as a comprehensive rundown of need-to-know news from the past week. Also, it’s a great source for those on the lookout for new opportunities and funding.
Farmer’s Inside Track boasts a host of agricultural thought leaders who aims to empower the country’s farmers and agripreneurs. This includes regular contributions by, amongst others, Dr Sifiso Ntombela, the chief economist of the National Agricultural Marketing Council, as well as thought-proving perspectives by Lunathi Hlakanyane, agricultural economist and author of Thought Tractor, Hein Gerwel from Stellenbosch University’s department of rural development and agrarian reform, and Christo van der Rheede, the deputy executive director of Agri SA.
Also, many of the sector’s movers and shakers will exclusively share perspectives and advice on their entrepreneurial journeys with fellow farmers and agripreneurs. This includes opinion pieces by, amongst others, Andile Ngcobo from Tusokhule Farm in Pietermaritzburg, Mbali Nwoko from Green Terrace in Boksburg, Musawenkosi Kubheka from Newcastle and Robert Patson from Happy Land Farm in Midrand.
Join Farmer’s Inside Track now
1. Sign up to receive our e-mailer
At the centre of Farmer’s Inside Track is our exclusive, weekly e-mailer which is only sent to farmers and agripreneurs who have signed up for it. It’s free and contains a perfect mix of exclusive content from industry thought leaders, business and entrepreneurship experts and leading farmers. You’ll get a comprehensive rundown of need-to-know news from the past week too. We know that you’re hustling hard as an up-and-coming farmer or new entrant to agri-business and that your time is limited. This is, quite possibly, the one source you’ll need to stay in the know of agri-opportunities. Want to see Farmer’s Inside Track in your inbox? Sign up here.
2. Hop on over to join the Facebook group
Join the Farmer’s Inside Track Facebook group. This is a safe space that allows for easy interaction. No muss, no fuss. Farmers and agripreneurs are also free to crowd-source advice and support on anything from agricultural funding and grants, to practical tips on farm-related matters.
3. Become part of our WhatsApp family
This is not like those irritating family groups with a never-ending chain of highly annoying good morning messages, factually-incorrect forwards and sexist husband-wife jokes. No one else can see your contact details, and should you WhatsApp us, your message will only reach us and us alone. So, the first step is to save +27 81 889 9032 as a contact on your phone. Thereafter, send us a WhatsApp including your name and surname, geographical area and province and your e-mail address. For example: “Thabo Msimang, Reitz, Free State, email@example.com.”
4. Tune in to our new podcast series
Subscribe and listen to the very first series of our Farmer’s Inside Track podcasts now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast as well as Pocket Casts. We’re keeping it real in our weekly podcasts. For example, Jacky Goliath turned her side hustle into a fynbos empire, but she still has a hard time as a black female in a predominantly white agri-world. And Pimville Gin co-founder Yongama Skweyiya hates that he’s often seen as nothing more than a black tendepreneur… No matter what your flavour (or your choice of mobile phone!), there will be a new Farmer’s Inside Track podcast episode ready for download every Tuesday morning.
5. Watch Farmer’s Inside Track TV
Promise, we won’t waste your mobile data with useless vids. Our weekly interviews with farmers and agripreneurs are engaging, thought-provoking and inspiring. The videos will be loaded first in our weekly e-mailer and Facebook group and only Farmer’s Inside Track members get access to the full videos.
6. Check out our brand-new website
The easiest way to sign up for Farmer’s Inside Track is the new website, where members will also be able able to access all content from previous newsletters. You’ll have to sign up to view the content, though, but don’t worry. It’s free too. To access the exclusive content when Farmer’s Inside Track launches on 5 November, just go to www.FarmersInsideTrack.co.za.