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Sydwell Nyakane Matabula Community Property Association (CPA), Mpumalanga

Sydwell Nyakane (29) is a man with a mission: to research the various segments of the agricultural industry and to explore business opportunities. Sydwell is the owner of Matabula CPA, a farm situated in the heart of White River, Mmbombela in Mpumalanga. The farm was established in 2006. Sydwell’s life has always revolved around farming and his mother has been his main inspiration and a pillar of strength. Sydwell completed the SAIE Agriplanner training that empowered him to expand his farming business.

Chicken and vegetable production are the two chief sources of Sydwell’s income. The farm sells on average 20 000 live chickens per month to customers who come to the farm to buy, or they offer a delivery service for large orders. The chickens are sold at R36 each and the average monthly income for 20 000 (estimated) chickens is just over R600 000. He said he is planning to add a chicken slaughter house to his farming operations.

AgriPlanner is a very good course which teaches
one to manage one’s finances better, how to
deal with disaster situations, how to solve one’s
problems and how to be self-reliant.

Sydwell says the farm recently started a nursery that supplies 1500 grafted macadamia seedlings per month to an ever-growing market. He says that at times he is unable to cope with the demand for seedlings. The average monthly income for macadamia seedlings is R25 000. Vegetables crops are also being grown on the farm and the produce is sold to locals in the form of “veggie boxes”. These are sold for between R80 and R100 and contain an assortment of vegetables such as butternut, carrots, potatoes and green pepper. In addition, the farm houses a small number of pigs – two of which are currently pregnant.

According to Sydwell, the AgriPlanner training programme has had a huge impact on his approach to farming. He credits the SAIE for exposing him to this “wonderful” product: “AgriPlanner is a very good course which teaches one to manage one’s finances better, how to deal with disaster situations, how to solve one’s problems and how to be self-reliant.” He believes that the programme has helped him understand the various markets and selling possibilities.

Sydwell is now ploughing back what he learnt during AgriPlanner training. He is currently a mentor to fellow farmers in the region who produce cucumbers; he uses the same training methodology as the AgriPlanner programme to convey the principals of sound farming practices.

Sydwell’s final thoughts on the impact of the AgriPlanner training: “AgriPlanner has opened doors. I have learnt to take chances and this has led to many business opportunities for me.”