Government comes to the aid of young KZN farmer

Despite the challenging odds including the floods that ravaged parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Ayanda Zulu, did not despair but continued to pursue her love for farming thanks to government’s support.

Zulu received funding through the Department of Small Business Development’s Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) which assisted her with equipment for the farm.

During a visit to her Kwa-Vuma Farm, in eShowe, Zulu told SAnews that had it not for government’s assistance, it was not going to be easy to continue farming.

She started Wenzokuhle Holdings in KwaNongoma in the Zululand district and thereafter started livestock farming in 2022 after moving to eShowe in March. Wenzokuhle Holdings commenced operations in 2013 but was formerly registered in 2019, specialising in crop and animal production (livestock breeding).

Having lost some of her livestock and equipment due to the floods, in 2022, Zulu approached Seda for assistance. Seda came to her rescue through its Flood Relief Scheme and her application was approved for an amount of R918 240 for equipment, machinery and livestock.

The farm employs 10 permanent employees and the number increases during the harvest and sowing period.

Zulu traces her farming roots to her grandfather’s deserted farm in Nongoma where she planted beans and also kept livestock such as goats and cows for selling.

However, she encountered challenges as the area in Nongoma is very dry and not conducive for livestock. She was then forced to relocate to eShowe, Vuma area where she bought the farm at which she is currently based.

“During the floods, it was not easy to continue farming. Floods really affected my operations, it was really bad. I thank government for their assistance,” Zulu said.

She also added climate change is a threat to livestock farming.

“Climate change is a big threat to livestock farming. But I wouldn’t change it for the world, if I had another opportunity to choose, I’ll choose farming and my ambition is to run an abattoir, invest in the food value chain, breeding, feedlots, slaughter and running multiple butcheries.

“Currently I have 165 goats and about 200 cattle, I hope to see the farm growing and having more cattle.”

Apart from livestock farming, Zulu also plants maize and beans.

Majuba College student, Nelisa Nhleka, is currently doing her internship at Wenzokuhle.

“Since I came here, I have learnt a lot about cattle and farming in general. It is important for young people to consider a career in farming so they can create job opportunities for other young people,” she said.

The Department of Small Business Development had to reprioritise its budget for the 2020/21- 2022/23 financial years as it sought to rally resources for the affected businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, July 2021 unrests and floods.

Wenzokuhle Holdings (PTY) Ltd is amongst businesses that were funded through the Flood Relief Fund and has since emerged out of the woods and shown some resilience anchored by the support from the department and its agencies including the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (sefa) and Seda.

Source: South African Government News Agency