Categories: News

Zim men create thriving farm on ‘useless’ land in Malmesbury

Cape Town – Five Zimbabwean men have been successfully growing crops on land abandoned as unprofitable in Malmesbury. The landowner, N7 Meat, gave up farming crops on the land, claiming losses of over R1m.Albert Zinhanga and four friends met the landowner when buying an ox for slaughter at N7 Meat in 2014. Noticing fallow land, they asked why it was unutilised. The farmer said it was unprofitable and if the Zimbabweans refused to believe him, he said they could try and farm it for free for a year. They could use his farming equipment and only pay for electricity.

He bet them they could not make a go of it.

 According to Zinhanga, a teacher of African languages at Cravenby High School in Parow, the farmer was told it would cost R300 000 to correct the pH of the soil. He didn’t want to invest further and continued concentrating on rearing sheep, cattle and pigs elsewhere on his farm.

Zinhanga has four partners; one has a doctorate in agriculture, the others have degrees in physics, science and engineering.


“We never dreamt or even thought that one day we will be farmers,” said Zinhanga. “We were just a group of academics driving around buying farm products.”

The five men tested the soil and the water and it seemed good to them, albeit sandy. To counter this, they say they watered continuously before planting any crops. They planted three hectares in all, with tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and maize.

Neighbouring farmers, watching the developments, came to them and gave advice. They also introduced the men to Cape Town Epping Market to sell their produce.

When the maize crop ripened, the surrounding farmers were stunned. They said they had never seen such big stalks, says Zinhanga.


Some of the maize grown by the farmers.

The Zimbabweans say the secret is to use cow dung and not to rely solely on fertiliser.

After the initial success, the farm owner offered them the land at a rental of R1 200 per hectare.

They now farm 15 hectares and have also started growing a leaf vegetable called tsunga. They call themselves the N7 Farmers, but as they all have full time jobs, they work the farm on Saturdays and Sundays and during the week take turns after work.

They have six employees. The farm manager is Malawian. Four general workers are South Africans and there is one Zimbabwean. During planting and harvesting time, they hire 20 part-time workers on Saturdays.

Zinhanga and his team were announced winners in the small business of the year award category on 2 April at the Cape Town Zimbabwe Excellence Gala Dinner Awards Ceremony 2016 at Kelvin Grove, Newlands.


Facebook Comments
CAT 515

Recent Posts

Truck driver nabbed with 87 illegal immigrants in Limpopo

A truck driver was arrested in Polokwane after he was caught with 87 illegal immigrants hidden in his truck early…

7 days ago

WATCH | Driver crashes truck while trying to reach his cellphone

A truck driver is in hot soup after dashcam footage revealed that he got up from his seat, left the…

1 week ago

Another voice adds to drivers’ outcry over baseless blame on border delays

While cross border truck drivers are pissed off by TUTWA's claims that 'driver behaviour' was the biggest contributor to border…

1 week ago

New study blames border delays on truck drivers

Driver behaviour has been identified as one of the main contributors to standing time (delays) at the Beitbridge border post…

2 weeks ago

LOOK | Train and truck collides leaving two men injured near Welkom

Two men were left injured this morning when their truck was hit by a train while crossing tracks near a…

2 weeks ago

Misdiagnosed malaria almost killed me – Cross border trucker

A cross border truck driver is grateful for the doctors at Qwaqwa general hospital for identifying and neutralising the malaria…

2 weeks ago
*/ } }

This website uses cookies.