Hendrik Motinga quit his formal job ten years ago as a labour inspector to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time commercial farmer.
Motinga, who studied law, said his farming journey started during the early years of his childhood, assisting his parents with daily farming activities. Today he rears various breeds of goats and sheep at his commercial farm in the Maltahöhe district near Mariental.
According to him, while working at the ministry of labour, he acquired his own livestock and land in a communal area to farm on a part-time basis with the support of his parents.
He resigned in 2010 to concentrate on his dream and passion, which is farming.
“I told myself that my farm needs me more than anything else and that’s how I ended up in full-time farming,” explained Motinga.
In early 2017, he acquired a loan from Agribank under the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS) to purchase a commercial farm. During the same year, he approached the bank again to request for mentorship services. He was on-boarded on Agribank’s free mentorship programme and attached to Agribank’s mentor for the Hardap region.
Under the Agribank mentorship programme, Motinga said he acquired knowledge on various farming aspects, ranging from rangeland management, farm management planning, budgeting, keeping records, farm diversification and the marketing of livestock at the appropriate time and place. “I clap hands for Agribank for having a mentorship programme of this magnitude. It is a step-in the right direction and one can really appreciate Agribank for initiating this”.
After the mentorship programme his lambing rate increased significantly from 26-50% to 76-100%.
He now farms with diverse goat and sheep breeds such as Van Rooy, meat master, and white dorper sheep as well as goat breeds such as Kalahari red and milk goats. Motinga employs five permanent workers and 4-8 casual workers during lambing season.
His short-term goal is to diversify his farm enterprises and produce all food necessities on the farm. As with any enterprise, he faced significant challenges such as the severity of the drought in 2019 and the infiltration of predators such as wild cats and jackals that hunt young lambs causing significant losses.
Motinga graduated from the mentorship programme after a three-year period from 2017 to 2020. He stated that the mentorship programme transformed the way he farms from the mindset to practical farming, and thus urged Agribank to contract additional mentors for more clients to benefit from the programme.