agricultural sector – Indice Rural Fri, 18 Mar 2022 10:21:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 agricultural sector – Indice Rural 32 32 This accountant is the GOAT of, well, goat farming Fri, 18 Mar 2022 09:53:00 +0000

What started as a hobby nine years ago has now become an agricultural business in two different countries. Today, former accountant Justin Dziruni has 12 full-time employees and a number of seasonal workers.

His company, Zazo Boergoats raises Boergoats goats and Red Kalahari goats. Through this indigenous herding operation in Mashonaland, eastern Zimbabwe, Dziruni is able to supply goats across Gauteng, Limpopo and his native Zimbabwe.

In an interview with Food For Mzansi, Dziruni said he hopes to one day start a goat breeding academy to develop the next generation of farmers. This year he was named Farmer of the Year in the SA-Zim Archivers competition.

Tiisetso Manoko: Your total herd is close to 400 goats. That’s pretty impressive for a guy who started out in the corporate world. How did you fall in love with the dynamic agricultural sector?

Justin Dziruni: I started farming when I was a little boy. I spent the first years of my life on rural land in Honde Valley, Zimbabwe. However, the seed for breeding was planted by my uncle when I was in high school.

He was a successful cattle rancher, but also kept a few goats. I loved visiting his farm in Nyanga during school holidays. I loved being around cattle and dreamed of having my own herd one day. Life gave me a different path and I became a goat herder instead.

Judging by your impressive operation, you must have a degree in agriculture…

I [actually] have no formal agricultural qualification. Growing up, I followed my other passion, accounting, which culminated in my CPA degree. Most of the knowledge about goat keeping that I learned was through self-study; learn from goat industry experience and mentors.

What prompted you to get into farming?

Interestingly, I always wanted to retire on a farm. The grueling demands of the accounting profession forced me to find ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This is what led me to practice hobby farming on weekends from 2013. I acquired a plot in Vereeniging and started as an amateur market gardener on weekends.

What started as hobby farming turned into some commercial operations after realizing that I could still enjoy the plot on my weekend visits, but could earn some money by becoming commercial .

The vegetable business grew by leaps and bounds to a point where we needed to expand. It was in this quest for additional land that I came across this land in Modimolle. The first thought that came to mind when I saw it was “goats”.

This is because the land was a mixture of shrubs and trees which I knew the goats liked to roam through when I visited my uncle’s farm at the time. I bought the land in 2014 and it is currently our main goat farming base.

Zazo Boer Goat Farm is a registered Boer goat farmer with operations in Limpopo, Gauteng and Muzarabani, Zimbabwe. Photo: Supplied/Food for Mzansi

ALSO READ: ‘Do today’s work today,’ advises North West farming mentor

What challenges have you encountered in the goat industry?

The biggest challenge for me has been balancing the demands of my day job. To meet this challenge, it was imperative that I employ a farm manager to lead the farm operations. My responsibility is mainly to drive the strategic direction of the farm. I also decided to focus only on goat production because it takes less time from me.

The key, however, is having a trusted farm manager and employees. I consider myself very lucky to have a team of workers who are excellent.

So you’re not just farming, you’re also exporting. Didn’t it come with a lot of paperwork?

When you are a Boer goat farmer, the demand for your goats comes from all over the world. I had the chance to export goats to different countries in Africa.

The export process is quite onerous as there are many animal health protocols that must be followed in addition to having the goats to be exported inspected by judges from the Boer Goat Association.

Wow! I can only imagine how other promising farmers on Food For Mzansi will look up to you. Do you have a special message for them?

The biggest step you can take is to start. I learned a lot by getting my hands dirty. Literally. As you can see from my own journey, it is above all your passion that will carry you even when you have challenges to overcome.

Although farming is hard work, it is extremely rewarding if you are willing to put in the hard work that is required. If Zazo can do it and succeed, so can you!

Get stories of change: Inspirational stories from the people who feed Mzansi.

AP will use drone technology for agriculture Fri, 11 Mar 2022 18:34:00 +0000

Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh government has unveiled plans to introduce drone technology to the state’s agricultural sector.

Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu announced the state’s decision to use drone technology while presenting the budget for agriculture and related sectors to the assembly. He said the state government is planning to spend Rs 200 crore on drone technology to benefit farmers.

Drones would help farmers optimize the use of inputs like water, fertilizer and seeds, in spraying operations, in addition to spraying pesticides to control weeds, pests and fungi.

At present, drones are only put into use for spraying pesticides for the protection of plants against pests in a short time. The government intends to expand drone services for seeding and for liquid fertilizer application.

Drones would be used for crop scouting to help assess crop damage caused by natural disasters such as rains and floods, as well as to perform soil health analyses.

The state government intends to launch 10,000 drones in a phased manner in the Rythu Bharosa Kendras and provide training to rural youths on the maintenance and upkeep of these drones with the aim of creating jobs for nearly of 20,000 young people.

The Acharya NG Ranga University of Agriculture has been conducting research on drone technology under the “APSARA Project” since 2018-19 with budget support from the Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. It will provide technical support to the state department of agriculture to use drones in the agricultural sector.

South Africa: North West Agriculture and Rural Development hosts one-day careers expo for agricultural secondary schools Fri, 11 Mar 2022 12:29:39 +0000

Career exhibit evokes passion for agriculture among school students

The Agricultural Sector Education Training Authority (AgriSETA), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, organized a one-day careers exhibition for agricultural secondary schools in the North- West to Taung Agricultural College. AgriSETA is an organization needed to develop skills in the agricultural sector so that learners can benefit from its activities. The aim of the event was to encourage young people to consider farming as a career, share the opportunities in the sector and teach them the ways they can make a living in the industry.

AgriSETA Marketing Manager, Mandy Rutgers, said in her speech to the approximately 400 learners that the skills development plan that emanates from the national development plan is prioritized by all SETAs through the sharing of scholarships, the development of skills and knowledge of careers in agriculture among young people, as they have the potential to take the sector to new heights.

The Noord-Wes Koporasie, MICTSETA, EW SETA, Citrus Academy, National Department of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform and Rural Development were among the exhibitors exhibiting and participating in the information sharing sessions that Tumiso Sempe (18 ) from a participant from Marubising Cokonyane Secondary School recognized the importance of.

“The exhibition was an eye-opening experience which gave me the opportunity to discover different careers in the agricultural sector. I am interested in pursuing studies in animal production or surveying at the University of Cape Town at the end of my license. These are careers I did not know before the exhibition and I am now aware of the immense contribution of each of them in the industry. My studies will also allow me to impart knowledge to our communities on many things when it comes to agriculture,” Tumiso said.

Tselaathuto Secondary School of Lower Majakgoro in Itireleng was one of many well-represented schools at Taung Agricultural College. The energized school learner Itumeleng Seeqela (19) expressed his gratitude for the efforts made by the exhibitors to answer in detail the learners’ questions about the different careers.

He said he learned a lot from the event. “My interest in being a veterinarian was mentioned because I have a great love for animals, especially rhinos which we know are an endangered species due to poaching. I also became aware because there are not so many black vets in the country, so I would like to follow this career path to show the young people in my village that it is possible to achieve everything we dream of as black people in South Africa,” said the twelfth (grade 12) student.