The South African agribusiness pool is filled with ample opportunities. Despite the various challenges facing the regional sectors, there seems to be a silver-lining for farmers who are directly investing in their own personal development as business leaders.
Eastern Cape farmer and co-founder of CI Project Agricultural Co-operative (CIPACO) Andisiwe Mpumlwana is one such business leader, and he is optimistic about what lies ahead.
What started out as a holiday chore to help his parents on the family farm blossomed into an enterprising and promising career for Mpumlwana and his siblings.
He started off like most young men in the village, by herding his father’s cattle and assisting with the mandatory tasks such as cultivating the soil and preparing it for the plantation of various crops like maize, cabbage, and potatoes.
While in high school, Mpumlwana studied life sciences and agriculture and that is where his passion for agribusiness was sparked.
“I started my BSc in Agriculture and Animal Sciences at the University of Fort Hare in 2013 which I completed four years later. That is where I learnt about the vast field of agribusiness and my interests were captured from that moment onwards,” he says.
It was this path that led him to have a higher view of agriculture as a business and compelled him to learn about the commercial side of this farming.
Wanting to know more, he signed up for entrepreneurial workshops with various development agencies including the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
Cultivating entrepreneurship through education
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