Moving from Subsistence Farming to Commercial Farming

Picture Credits: www.morguefile.com

Picture Credits: www.morguefile.com

Normally when I’m at home, in South Coast of KZN my granny has made it a tradition to give me crops or harvest from her garden.  This goes as far as giving me the entire fowl that she is breeding at home. I like that because it makes her feel content that her children are enjoying her hard work from the garden. For me because it’s something that I grew up enjoying for many years at home, I sometimes encourage her to sell her harvest to get money. The problem I always encounter when I raise that suggestion to her is that, she is not farming or growing her crops with an intention of selling them, it’s for us to eat only. Sometimes mealies become dry fast while we are still enjoying it. On yearly basis we always have oversupply of “amadumbe”. It is not in her to sell all of these things, because she is not regarding herself as a commercial farmer. Recently I came back from home with 10 KG of Sugar Beans, Peanuts, Amadumbe, Butternut, Herbs and whole chicken. All this from her garden, and when I look the value of these items it can be about R1000.00.
She is not alone in this, each and every neighbor has his or her own garden growing the same thing and they keep it to themselves. Although they have their own gardens, there is still an unused piece of land that has a potential of becoming a framing land. Looking at this and taking into account that as a country at times we even struggle to produce enough mealies for our nation I always see a lost opportunity to make profit and to feed the nation.
I believe there should be a transition from people like my granny to move from subsistence farming into commercial farming at a small scale.  I’m not faultless as well in all of this, because in fact she should have seen me selling some of her crops and give back the money for her to see how profitable her small land can be.
Things like honey, we import large quantity of it from other countries, whereas we have the capacity to produce our own in the country. Maybe it’s about time to get dirty and work on the soil or be even stunk by those bees.
By: Musa Gumede

Local Restaurateurs Stimulates Local Economy

One of these days from my early meeting at Ramsgate lower south coast of KZN I had to stop by Shelly Beach for a light meal. My first meal of the day I’m always fussy about it as it has to be perfect and delicious at the same time. I had a choice of going to normal franchise restaurant or to the boutique restaurant.  The normal assumption with the franchise restaurants is that they try by all means to look identical and they all conform to the standards and requirements of the franchise. Maybe for a person who believe that he must eat what he knows these franchise restaurants might be the way to go.
However I always look something unique about the area every time, I’m also from South Coast. I have seen business people or families investing in small or medium size boutique restaurants within the area.  I personally think that it’s  something that should be encourage, because if a tourist is in the area would like to have a different taste that can be offered in that area only. These kinds of restaurants offer that to the public.
For local economy I personally think restaurants that are owner or family driven are better stimulants of the local economy as opposed to others. I say this simply because there is no money that leaks back to the franchise principals for marketing, percentage of the turnover, franchises fees, etc.
Most of the things in franchise restaurants are centralized, quality control, menu and so on. So if as customer you are not satisfied about something that is beyond them, it’s too tough you must find another venue for yourself to eat. This makes it difficult for effect change in these restaurants, because it’s a long process that need to be followed.
The choice is yours though as a consumer and the recipient of the service. We always like to go to where we are treated with respect, enjoy nice food and good environment at the same time. However the question will be what unique you can take out from that particular restaurant? It is always highly possible to get unique setup and taste from proprietor orientated business.

By: Musa Gumede
www.musagumede.co.za