A sheep farmer from Mahikeng in North West, Malemo Thato (42), ventured into full-time farming six years ago. At the time, the trained IT engineer and former digital product specialist was working at a radio station, hungry for a new career.
“I’ve come to realise that there are people who prefer fresh meat, but they don’t have the means to raise their own sheep. There are those who will require meat for either a celebration or any other function,” Thato tells Food For Mzansi.
“I saw a gap in the informal market and rather than supply the abattoirs directly, I looked at a fragment of the informal market and I focused on that.”
To access this market, Thato uses social media to advertise his business.
Saving money with Voermol
As far as careers go, he never thought he would end up farming. “I never thought of farming when growing up, but [I did] enjoy a good, cooked lamb every now and then.”
Lambs are now the foundation of his business, which he called 78 Farms because it is the year both he and his wife was born. The business is structured around buying weaned lambs and fattening them for the informal market.
With Voermol, he is able to fatten his lambs much faster than usual. He uses Voermol SS 200, which he mixes with Voermol Procon 33 for best results. Voermol SS 200 is a fattening concentrate that livestock farmers use to grow out their young animals.
It is particularly effective for fattening lambs, and can be mixed with maize meal, whole barley and roughage. The product also helps farmers save costs because it can improve feed conversion up to 15%.
By adding Voermol Procon 33 to his feed mix, Thato ensures that his animals get three different sources of protein. This product is versatile and can be used for nourishing both dairy cattle and growing lambs.
“I have tried a couple of different products, but they didn’t do what I wanted. What I wanted was less input, greater growth. With the Voermol products, I realised that now I spend less, and the results are quite quick. I get greater growth within a shorter space of time.”