• Local farming entrepreneur states that the majority of farmers in Eswatini are part-time farmers
  • Dlamini says quality is compromised because emaSwati do not treat farming as a business
  • Says there is a big misconception that farming is easy

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By Ntokozo Nkambule

Local agripreneur Gcina Dlamini from Smiling Through Investment says one of the reasons most farmers in the country fail is because they treat farming as a part-time job. Dlamini was speaking yesterday, during an event hosted by the American Spaces in Eswatini Virtual Engagement on Agribusiness Marketing at the Mbabane Library.

During the discussion, Dlamini noted that farming to most emaSwati is a by-the-way thing, yet there is a lot that goes in the industry. He said because most farmers did not prioritize farming they would continue to struggle. Dlamini, a Washington Fellow, said that once farming is treated as a business then success is bound to happen. “It is important that you treat your product as a business, you must plan, create a budget, and have systems. It is also important to emphasize that people should not venture into farming for the sake of it, because it is a very tough industry and requires tenacity” he noted.

Lungile Mzizi, a seasoned Agriculture Marketing Specialist who was the co-speaker on the day concurred with him, stating that farmers need to understand the entire business case of farming. She said there is an entire value chain in farming that local farmers have to acquaint themselves with them if they want to succeed. Mzizi observed that there are a number of factors that people must look into, such as quality of the produce, promotion, price, place, and packaging. “The reality is in most cases we start small, whether in a small garden at home or small plot, but it is important that people take farming as a business from the onset for them to succeed” she noted.

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