Farmer's Inside Track

40 Episodes

By: Food For Mzansi

The Farmer's Inside Track podcast is proudly presented by It is aimed at South Africa’s up-and-coming farmers and new entrants into farming and agri-businesses who need information and inspiration to help them start up and get up to sprinting speed as commercial producers and/or agri-processors. • Join the farmers' members club | • Facebook | • Twitter & Instagram | • Food For Mzansi's WhatsApp line | +27 81 889 9032

Follow the money: unlock agri opportunities & our #soilsista farms off the grid!
Yesterday at 2:30 AM

From rooftop and indoor farming to hydroponics and aquaponics. Mzansi's young farmers are

grabbing the current opportunities in agriculture and food production and in this edition, we connect with Zandile Khumalo, the CEO of Neighbour Roots rooftop hydroponic farm and Lance Quiding, founder, and CEO of Integrated Aquaculture…

Our weekly check in with the amazing women selected for the Corteva Women Agripreneur 2022 programme. Our #SoilSista Refilwe Mokwene runs a hydroponic cucumber farm and tells us more about their family farming business and how they managed to farm off the grid…

COP27: Urgent call to develop the latest generation of seeds to tackle climate change and hunger
Last Wednesday at 3:00 AM

After the recent COP27 climate talks, in this edition we're joined by Michael Keller, secretary general of the International Seed Federation about the importance of developing and deploying the latest generation of seeds for tackling climate change and hunger.


Soil erosion: Here’s what farmers should know!
Last Monday at 2:30 AM

Maintaining healthy soil is key for Mzansi’s farmers to thrive but soil erosion which leads to the loss of soil cover due to natural forces such as wind and water has a dire impact on productivity. In this edition we talk about the causes of soil erosion and what farmers should know and understand from day 1…


Food For Mzansi commercial journalists, Octavia Spandiel joins us in this edition connecting with is Onele Mduzulwana, an agronomist at Daracorp NPO, based in Cullinan in Gauteng.

Growth opportunities in Mzansi’s beer industry & #SoilSista Tiniyiko Khoza venturing into agro-processing

Barley and hops are two types of grains that can be used to make beer. In this edition we showcase the opportunities for Mzansi’s farmers to tap into SA’s beer industry with Aron Kole, the managing director of farmer development company FarmSol.

 He talks about their farmer development programme and why it’s vital for young agriculturalists to continue to take up space in the sector…

In our weekly check in with the amazing women selected for the Corteva Women Agripreneur 2022 programme. Our #SoilSista Tiniyiko Khoza is a poultry farmer and has her eyes set on sett...

How to start a cherry farm in Mzansi!

In Mzansi, cherry farming is profitable. We’re considered to be one of the world’s leading producers of sweet cherries, plus our favourable climate conditions are conducive for their growth. In this edition we share the 101 on starting a cherry farm in Mzansi, especially if you’re a new farmer or newly commercialised farmer…


Food For Mzansi commercial journalists, Octavia Spandiel chats to Fanie Grobbelaar from Welgelegen Cherry Estate in the Eastern Free State.

Successful business build on purpose!

Building a business is not just about finding efficient ways to earn profit. Putting purpose at the core of your strategy could be a game-changer. In this edition we chat to Agnes Hove, a director of African Women in Agriculture and Paul Kim, a co-founder of PeopleFlow, a software company building paperless HR solutions for employers of blue-collar workers…

“Let’s stop romanticising farming,” says farmer Zabion De Wee, #SoilSista Lady Tshoga advises women farmers to go big or go home!

Zabion de Wee, livestock farmer and John Deere’s business development manager for Africa and the Middle East, is adamant that romanticising agriculture does have its shortfalls. He insists that showcasing the realities and day to day struggles farmers like himself face, is crucial for new entrants to see and especially new era farmers in Mzansi…

Our weekly check in with the amazing women selected for the Corteva Women Agripreneur 2022 programme, this is a year-long blended development programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science Entrepreneurship Development Academy.


Our #SoilSista Lady Tshoga switched careers...

How technology and innovation ignites widespread agricultural transformation!

We’re back with another insightful edition as part of our campaign with Nedbank, the future of agriculture is already here! Joining us again is Maluta Netshaulu an agricultural economist and banker at Nedbank and this week Food For Mzansi co-founder Ivor Price chats to our expert about how tapping into technology and innovation ignites widespread agricultural transformation…

How to start a feedlot in Mzansi!

In Mzansi, beef cattle fattening can be a profitable business to start, but understanding the ins and outs of what beef cattle pen fattening is and how to start a feedlot is vital.


Food For Mzansi journalists, Octavia Spandiel joins us to in this edition connecting with Dieketseng Lesako a consultant at GrowthShoot Cattle Investors based in the Free State, she shares tips for new farmers and newly commercialised farmers can start a feedlot in Mzansi!

How AGDA is unlocking opportunities for smallholder farmers in Mzansi! Plus #SoilSista Zanele Tsambo’s ambition is infectious

Leona Archary is back on Farmer’s Inside Track and this time to focus on the work she does as the CEO of the Agricultural Development Agency. In an exclusive with Dawn Noemdoe, she talks about how they’re changing the face of South African agriculture by partnering with the private sector to develop small holder farmers in Mzansi…

As you know by now, once a week we meet the amazing women selected for the Corteva Women Agripreneur 2022 programme, this is a year-long blended development programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science Entrepreneurship Development Academy.



Future focused farming: how to innovate while fostering our heritage!

In this edition we chat to three dynamic agriculturalists about the ins and outs of running their farming business, creating new innovative markets and more on why fostering our agricultural heritage is key for success in this sector…


Dawn Noemdoe connects with Andile Ngcobo, KwaZulu Natal farmer and agricultural consultant, poultry farmer, Kagiso Tom from Tom Rakudu Poultry and Thapelo Phiri Junior, a fertiliser specialist focusing on regenerative agricultural practices…

New Saudi Arabia deal a game changer for Mzansi’s beef industry

A landmark deal signed between South Africa and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will see Mzansi’s beef exported to the country by 2023. Louw van Reenen, CEO of Beefmaster Group, joins us now to talk about how this deal is set to change the game for local producers…

New farmers: mechanisation tips with Pieter Pienaar & SoilSista on a mission support vulnerable communities

Day to day Pieter Pienaar, the tactical marketing planner at John Deere supports new entrants into farming to secure the best mechanisation to grow their agribusiness. He joins us in this edition with tips to adopt new technology and the right mechanisation to use if you're a new farmer in Mzansi…

Our #SoilSista Theresa Makola switched careers from nursing to farming after surviving cancer…She tells us more about how her amazing journey started and the people who have supported her along the way…

Future focused farming 101 with Nedbank economist Maluta Netshaulu!

If you’re not driven towards future focused agricultural practices, then farming in today's climate is tough. Mzansi’s farmers and others along the agricultural value chain can withstand almost anything BUT innovation, sustainable farming methods and adopting technology into your farming business is how many new and newly commercialised farmers are thriving!


We connect with Maluta Netshaulu an agricultural economist and banker at Nedbank, in this edition as part of our campaign – The Future of Agriculture is Already Here!...

How the De Sousa brothers started farming without land or money!

At Food For Mzansi we got to know, Daniel and Devon De Sousa as the farming brothers who started farming without land. In today's episode we pick their brains about why their business model works and how innovative ideas and being more focused on running your farm as a business is key…

From finance to farming with cattle breeder Ole Lekgetho, plus meet our #SoilSista, a devout environmentalist

Ole Lekgetho switched careers from auditing to cattle farming. He says the land kept calling and he heeded the call. In today's episode this North West farmer admits that farming in today's climate is not easy, but he pushes through despite the adversities and advocates that young South Africans see the potential to enter this sector…

Leona Archary: agricultural development will never cease for industry champion.

With more than 20 years of experience in the agricultural sector, Leona Archary has a wealth of knowledge on this progressive industry. In today's episode we find out exactly how much her heart beats to develop it holistically as the CEO of the Agricultural Development Agency…

Keys to successful farming with Minky Kgopa and Clifford Mthimkulu!

A deep desire to farm, being accountable and lifelong learning is exactly how Minky Kgopa and Clifford Mthimkulu are thriving in Mzansi’s agricultural sector. I had such a great time connecting with these two amazing famers and I wanted to share some of my highlights in today's episode…

Agnes Hove finds joy in partnering with nature and our #SoilSista believes that agriculture is wealth

Agnes Hove, embodies her passion to empower and develop women agripreneurs and entrepreneurs in Mzansi. In today's episode she talks about transitioning from the corporate world to finding joy in partnering with nature and more about her work as a director of African Women in Agriculture...

Our # SoilSista Tandiswa Hopa worked in a development funding organisation before she decided to quit and pursue a career in agriculture. She believes agriculture is wealth and saw her farm as a gold mine.

When faced with adversity, Zabion de Wee strives!

The foundation laid by the tenacious women who raised him, is how livestock farmer Zabion de Wee is able to transform the agricultural sector as John Deere’s business development manager for Africa and the Middle East. In today's episode we find out how when faced with adversity, Zabion de Wee strives!

Why insurance is imperative for Mzansi’s farmers?

Insurance covers you against volatility and uncertainty but unfortunately according to Liché Strydom, product developer at King Price Insurance there are many misperceptions around it but he believes it should be a big part of farmers' risk management framework. He joins us now to share some more on this and why farmers can never overlook incorporating an insurance plan into their agri business from day one…

“Be accountable and unapologetic” says Toutele Agri College principal and our #SoilSista switched careers during the covid pandemic

She waited two and half years to get accreditation but Gabbey Gostina Malope’s unwavering spirit and knocking on as many doors as she could is how she started Toutele Agricultural College South Africa.


In this edition we get to know the women behind the agricultural college and more of what drives her work in this dynamic industry…


Our #SoilSista Roseline Mapuranga a former construction manager took the plunge and bought a small holding to set up a small hydroponics system. She joins us now to talk more about pushing through despit...

Understanding SA's Rabies Advisory Group

Over the past few weeks here on Farmer’s Inside Track, we’ve touched on animal healthcare during our One Health campaign with Vuyokazi Makapela, a Director at Afrivet. She’s back and talking to us about the South Africa Rabies Advisory Group.

Khula! Leveraging technology for Mzansi farmers to thrive!

Now, doing good is built into Khula’s business model. As one of Mzansi’s new tech players their mission is to close the gap between farmers, suppliers, and markets. In this edition we catch up with Karidas Tshintsholo, the co-founder and CEO of Khula…


Prof Adri Drotskie’s farm financial management tips, plus find out how our #SoilSista chose farming over psychology!

Our focus in this edition is farm financial management. Prof Adri Drotskie shares her farm financial management tips with Mzansi...

Our #SoilSista Nthabeleng Maphepha grew up around cattle farming but only discovered her love for agriculture after graduating from her studies in psychology. She says her father encouraged her to join the industry and in 2017 she became a full-time farmer…

How to plan scheduling in orchard irrigation

Irrigating with efficiency and precision has been our mantra over the past few weeks with the team of experts at Netafim. Jovan Erasmus agronomist for the North and Central Regions is back and this time to focus on how to plan scheduling in orchard irrigation…

How to be a profitable watermelon farmer?

Watermelon farming is profitable. Succeeding however means getting the basics right and understanding the best techniques that works for your farming operation. In this edition, Food For Mzansi journalist, Nicole Ludolph chats to watermelon farmer, Leshalagae Mojapelo, who shares the basics to get started, tips to deal with pests and his experience growing this crop…

Mechanisation: Game changer for Mzansi farmers!

Here's a question - does mechanisation have to be expensive? John Deere believes mechanisation could actually double farmers’ outputs and be a game-changer for small-scale and newly commercialising farmers across Africa. We chat to John Deere’s managing director for business in Africa and the Middle East, Jaco Beyers.

How to deal with common chicken diseases!

Time and time again, experts emphasize that irrespective of the farming operation, from commercial layers, broilers or broiler breeders, keeping chickens healthy and productive should always be a priority. Retha Engels, technical advisor at Meadow Feeds joins us now to break down some of the more common chicken diseases, treatments, and overall standard practice all farmers should know and understand from day one!

The ultimate guide to growing canola!

In Mzansi canola pods are mostly used to make canola oil or blended with other edible oils. It’s considered an excellent rotation crop and this week we share a guide to get started and tips for newly commercialised farmers to up their game. Food For Mzansi journalist, Nicole Ludolph chats to Johan Pyper, agronomist at Southern Oil.

Minister Didiza’s take on biosecurity and #Soilsista, Tsholofelo Gaechose’s found healing in farming

As a farmer protecting the health of your animals, the environment and ultimately consumers comes down to one thing, BIOSECURITY! Inadequate biosecurity measure has caused major setbacks for livestock farmers in Mzansi and a drastic turnaround is critical.


In an exclusive with Thoko Didiza, the minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, she reassured the industry that the ministerial task team appointed in September 2021 to tackle biosecurity has identified clear weaknesses and objectives to avoid the continuous animal disease outbreaks in Mzansi.

As promised an inspiring story to warm your heart up n...

Four reasons farmers should consider insurance

Insurance is crucial to running an agribusiness but often the last thing on farmers lists. Theo

Potgieter, Director of Insurance at UNIGRO list the reasons farmers should consider insurance.

How to plan scheduling in open field irrigation

Precision irrigation improves production, reduces cost and ultimately optimizes productivity, Jovan Erasmus an agronomist at Netafim shares tip on how to plan scheduling in open field irrigation.

Growing butternuts: Here's the 101, plus tips on dealing with FMD

In Mzansi, planting butternuts kicks off in August where the temperatures have started to increase after the winter and this week, we share a guide to get started.


Farmers are in it for the long game and our #SoilSister Luyanda Sisusa has been trying to make her farming dreams come true for more than a decade. She is one of the amazing women selected for the Corteva Women Agripreneur 2022 programme.


And, our farmer tip of the week comes from Dr Mpho Maja, animal health director at the department of...

Pollination 101, irrigation on a budget and a farmer tip from GreenBin SA

Pollination is one of the most crucial cogs in the fruit and crop production machine, yet there are many warmings that bee populations are dwindling. This week we’re joined by a beekeeper to unravel how vital this pollinator is for our food system.  


Over the past few weeks here on Farmer’s Inside Track, we’ve explained why it’s crucial to irrigate with massive efficiency, selecting the correct irrigation equipment, how to irrigate efficiently with limited resources and this week, Mias Borcherds, Netafim technical advisor in the Western Cape explains how to ensure farmers ru...

Tips to access markets, plus our #SoilSister went from client service adviser to a poultry farmer

Accessing markets as a new or even established farmer is key for any farming enterprise. In this edition we share top tips to access markets in Mzansi.

While Covid-19 was tough year from many, for Keenan Jooste, it provided an opportunity to launch her own cannabis edible agribusiness. Our Agri 101 features the founder of That Good Good.


Our #SoilSister Itumeleng Tsotetsi always wanted to start her own business, not just as a means to improve her own life but the lives of others. Today she runs a poultry enterprise and joins us as o...

Three crops to plant this summer, plus how to select the correct irrigation equipment!

The climate and farming go hand in hand and this week we focus on three crops to plant this summer – a guide to planting and harvest for new farmers.

In Mzansi farmers are rethinking their farming methods to improve production, reduce cost and ultimately optimize productivity. In our Netafim campaign technical advisor, Gary Frances has some tips on how to select the correct irrigation equipment.

Our #SoilSister Dimakatso Makgoe-Mabheju moved from chemical engineering to chicken farming. It may sound like a drastic change, but it was precisely what she needed. Today she jo...

A guide to start a layer production for smaller farmers

In this edition we focus on how farmers can get organic certification. Organic food refers to the agricultural practices used in the growing, processing, storage and sale of this produce and this week we share a guide for new farmers.


We’re back with Meadow Feeds, who farmers really turn to for more than just feed. Gay Boomgaard, divisional technical manager for poultry at Meadow Feeds shares a guide to start a layer production for smaller farmers in South Africa.


Our #SoilSister, Junior Perekwa grew up farming, but she never thought the d...

How to start a small regenerative farm!

The challenges of climate change and sustainability pushes farmers to consider alternative farming methods. Regenerative agriculture, farming with nature is trending and this week we share a guide on how farmers can start a small regenerative farm in Mzansi.

Nambwale Kalunga, Netafim's technical advisor in Zambia join us this week to talk about how farmers can irrigate efficiently with limited resources.

Khuliso Madima’s corporate background as an IT pratitioner has helped her run her family business, a subtropical farm in Limpopo. Like so many farmers she wears many hats, from HR manager, fi...

Tips to cut fertilizer cost in Mzansi!

Fertilizer cost are at record highs and in this edition, we unpack how new farmers can cut cost and find alternatives for optimal production.

Rabies is a preventable viral disease, transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. In our One Health campaign we focus on, Rabies: You asked, Vuyokazi Makapela, a Director at Afrivet, answered! She focuses on the treatment protocol and preventatives measures.

Now, although Ika Cronje grew up on a farm, she never expected her own journey to end in agriculture and now, five years later, she is establishing herse...