21 April 2019


Bright future ahead for young farmer of the year

by: Thebe Itumeleng   date: 06 july 2018

At 31, Thabang Mokwele, is making great strides in poultry farming. He scooped major awards at the recent Provincial Youth in Agriculture Awards, winning this year’s award for Best Youth Commercial Enterprise and the overall winner for the 2018 Young Farmer of the year.

Mokwele is farm manager of Thaba-Kwena Projects Pty (Ltd) specialising in broiler production. The farm is situated in the rural Graaslaagte, 8km east of Lichtenburg in Ditsobotla Local Municipality.

The farm was established in 2014 by young Thabang Richards Mokwele, but was formally registered in 2016. 

To date, the farm boasts 10 broiler houses with a capacity for 15 000 birds, each producing at least 150 000 birds per cycle.

Through this establishment and the support from the provincial government of Bokone Bophirima, Mokwele has employed 28 people on his farm. Eight of them are permanent employees while 20 are casual workers.

In the past the farm received financial support of nearly R1 million from Bokone Bophirima’s Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ). On top of the cash injection, the department has supported the project with payment of electricity and purchasing of feed. 

Over and above the financial support, the project received training, monitoring and extension services from READ.

To date, the farm has managed to secure a formal market contract with a renowned poultry company in the country. 

One of owner Mokwele’s future plans is to have his own abattoir so he can employ more people.

The Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development has got programmes designed uniquely to cater for the youth and to assist those with interest in agricultural, environment and rural development activities and projects with funding.

Recently, the department launched the North West Agricultural Fund with the mandate to provide funding to aspiring farmers in agricultural development, with a particular emphasis on previously disadvantaged individuals who cannot access funding from commercial banks.

Bokone Bophirima Provincial Government has identified ACT [Agriculture, Culture and Tourism] as key industries to invest in, so they may drive the province’s economic development in a sustainable manner. Unlike mining, which has got a life cycle that will one day end, these three ACT industries will stay forever as they depend on the people. It is for this reason that the provincial government continues to inject more investments in these sectors and develop up-and-coming enterpreneurs in ACT industries.