Imagine running a farm without any government assistance and how difficult that must be. That is the reality for most commercial farmers in Mzansi, including the Patience family from Saron in the Western Cape. They have been doing it successfully for the past 50 years.
In this week’s Farmer’s Inside Track podcast episode, Food For Mzansi’s editor Dawn Noemdoe sits down with the co-owner of GT Agri Group Gary Patience, who considers the lack of funding “a blessing in disguise.”
“Farming without government funding has taught me and my mother to have smarter financial planning. It has taught us to think twice before we spend and to manage our finance better.” Patience says.
In the podcast, the young farmer shares nuggets of wisdom and the challenges of being a farmer on commonage land. Drought, weather conditions and access to water are challenges Patience navigates daily.
Patience also highlights other challenges like stock theft and wild predators. But the farmer has a trick up his sleeve and he shares detail about an interesting device he uses to prevent losses to wild predators and stock theft.
When asked by Noemdoe if he sees himself doing anything else, Patience is quick to answer ‘no’. He expresses his love for the sector and the family’s desire to one day own their own piece of land.
In conclusion, Patience attributes their success to the relationships they have with the agri-workers on the farm and with service providers. “When you have a good relationship with your workers and look after them, they will look after you and the product you’re producing,” he says.
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