Ayanda Mbense always wanted to be a farmer. Childhood visits to his grandmother’s Umzimkhulu home in KwaZulu-Natal ignited his passion for farming. It is also where his business, Limindlela Enterprise, is now based.
“What I love about farming is that it enables you to develop yourself and be a better individual. As we all know, food is a basic necessity. It is a need. So, I believe having the ability to farm your own food gives you the opportunity to be a step ahead in terms of fighting poverty,” says Mbense (28).
He started Limindlela Enterprise in partnership with his brother, Sifiso, last year. While Mbense’s educational path led him to obtain a national diploma in electrical engineering from the University of Johannesburg, Sifiso graduated from the Buhle Farmer’s Academy with a qualification in vegetable production.
It is Mbense’s work as a field engineer at an electronics company that helps fund the business. “My brother and I reached the conclusion that it’ll be him who will manage [the business] while I work to raise capital for our farming activities,” he says.
Farming with Voermol
At Limindlela Enterprise, the Mbense brothers farm on communal land with a small cattle herd and some free-range chickens. Winter is particularly hard on their animals, which is why they utilise a variety of Voermol products to keep the animals in shape.
He tells Food For Mzansi, “We use Premix 450, and also 12P as a transitional lick. And during winter, we use Premix 450 and Molasses Meal as a protein lick. During breeding season, around September after the first rains, we use Supermol to help them get in heat. We then use 12P and salt as a phosphate lick during summer periods, when grass has plenty of protein but lacks phosphorus.”
Voermol’s Premix 450 acts as a high source of protein for cattle. It carries a number of benefits, including the prevention of dry gall sickness and the aiding of dry roughage digestion.
With the addition of Molasses Meal, the feed or lick has a more palatable texture and is less dusty. It is also handy for binding feeds during the pelleting process. A big advantage of the Molasses Meal feed is that, because it is high in B vitamins and trace minerals, it is an excellent product to use for stimulating the appetites of sick animals.
The Supermol feed is made especially for animals grazing on green veld pastures. It supplies the nutrients animals would not receive during green grazing, like protein, phosphorus and trace minerals.
One stand-out product
For Mbense, choosing a favourite Voermol product so far is rather difficult.
“[The products] play a different role in different seasons. However, I’ll single out the Premix 450 and its combination with the Molasses Meal during winter periods because that’s the harshest time on communal land. The grazing pastures are normally burnt during winter and cattle take a knock. The Premix 450 has helped us in maintaining the body condition score of our heifers, cow and calf.”
The Mbense brothers are just beginning their journey as agripreneurs. Luckily, they have been able to keep their biggest assets, their animals, healthy.
“We try our best to use the farming systems that will make our cattle reproduce, and Voermol has played that role of increasing the productivity of our cattle. Our cattle are now able to digest their roughage with ease, and they can develop immunity through the quality of supplement they get from the Voermol products. Winter has never been the same [since we started using Voermol].”
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