The success story of a son to a small scale farmer, who grew up in a family whose livelihood was sustained by farming. Mr. Gram Bhembe grew up at Mpatheni and attended school in the neighboring schools but could not complete his secondary education owing to shortage of funds. He went as far as Form 2 and after which he started working in a local hammer mill where he saved his monthly salary until he managed to accumulate enough money to purchase seedlings. He first planted 4000 cabbages which he sold and made a remarkable sum of E6, 000.00. The revenue generated from the sale was re-invested into the business.
Upon realizing that the project was profitable, he stopped working at the hammer mill and gave his farming business full attention. “I started my project on family fields near a river and later increased scale by leasing neighbor’s fields” he says. He was fortunate to start when an irrigation system had already been put in place by an association that was running a similar project. During those days he would travel to purchase seedlings all the way from South Africa since they sold good quality seedlings, but due to onerous importation logistics and complexities he ended up using local suppliers such as kaMfishane Nursery and Vickery Seedlings. He would at a given point plant a minimum of 2000 to a maximum of 10000 seedlings.