Settlers smallstock farmer Raymond Read’s dream of sharing his knowledge and skills with the emerging and small livestock farmers in the area came to fruition at a farmers’ day held on his farm last month. A collaboration between the Limpopo Department of Agriculture, Bela-Bela municipality and the Read family, the day attracted farmers from as far away as North West and Mpumalanga. R epresentatives from Absa Agri-business, Virback Animal Health, Foton Tractor and Mayford were there to answer the farmers’ questions. Pupils from surrounding agricultural high schools also attended the event.
Head explained the principles of smallstock management with interactive demonstrations on his farm. Fluent in Sepedi, successfully communicated management techniques and fully understood and appreciated the farmers’ concerns and questions. ead said sharing his knowledge was a long-held ambition: “Our family has been here for close on 100 years and we have always been committed to serving agriculture.” With his wife Esmé and his two daughters Mapula and Medupi, Read will be hosting a farmers’ day each year. L impopo MEC for Agriculture Dikeledi Magadzi, who attended the farmers’ day, said she was pleasantly surprised so many people attended the event, “This is the epitome of public-private partnership. So often skills transfer between commercial and emerging farmers can result in friction, mainly due to a lack of proper communication. Raymond’s fluency in the local language makes for better communication and a common understanding.” – Cornelia du Plooy