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Korupanda’s niche farming undertaking

2021-10-19  Charles Tjatindi

Korupanda’s niche farming undertaking
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Menyanuka Korupanda has a unique way of making a living. He combines his farming skills with the hands-on vocational training he received over the years, in order to create a niche business that merges these two skillsets perfectly; he assists farmers to set up their homesteads and other farming structures.

Korupanda, who prides himself with the adage that ‘hard work never kills...’ is a firm believer in quality work, and has a business ethic that propels him to see a job right to the end. 

His main duties – as contracted by the farmers – are to carry out debushing on the intended land on which the farmer intends to live, right through to hitting the last nail on the roof truss of a farm dwelling.

This would mean that other than clearing the land, the erection of fences, kraals holding pens, building farmhouses and the overall rounding up of the homestead to make it liveable all form part of his duties. 

It’s a tough call but someone has to do it. Korupanda has been the man on call – at least for this type of job – for the past eight years.

“After realising how many farmers struggled with different labourers to set up their homesteads – many of whom do not complete the job anyway – I saw that there could be an opportunity to put my skills into practice. Farming is our way of life, as we are brought up that way – but some farmers do not pay particular attention to quality and often end up with structures that are not up to standard,” Korupanda said.

Korupanda employs mainly out-of-school youth, many of whom have been sitting idle at home without a means to sustain themselves. They would toil away in the rain or sunshine, clearing bushes or making pathways for the erection of a camp fence or digging deep for poles of a farm dwelling at almost every site.

The group mainly gets contracted by farmers who work far from their farming grounds, or those who are overseas and would not have time to either do the work themselves or contract different people for the different jobs involved in the setting up of a homestead.

Korupanda told AgriToday that his business had been growing daily – all thanks to the farmers who have entrusted him with the setting up of their homesteads.

“Some farmers would buy all the material needed at once and drop them off. They would then even pay in full all you ask from them, although we work on a deposit basis. But then, the onus is on us as a team to push through and make sure that such a farmer emerges happy.

“We work largely on a referral system; just think of what such a farmer could tell others if we fail to deliver on time, or if our work ethic is not in check?”.

The entrepreneur said those who are unemployed look for opportunities around them and turn them into businesses.

“There are opportunities everywhere. Just look around you and adopt a different mindset for what you see... There is your business staring right back at you. Go on; harvest its potential, and you would soon be putting bread on the table,” he said.

- tjatindi@gmail.com


2021-10-19  Charles Tjatindi

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