Ncumisa Mkabile’s (27), creativity, social media savviness and her “can-do” attitude, shows that anything is possible by starting a small-scale farming business during the lockdown which has gained her national recognition.
It’s reported that Mkabile first made headlines as the founder of a chicken farm, Mamcube Homegrown Chicken, which she started in March. She proceeded to plant her spinach in May and employed seven people who worked on her farm that business has earned her so much recognition in July.
The Khayelitsha-based agripreneur was born in Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape. Despite being a travel and tourism graduate, she decided to start farming in March when the COVID-19 lockdown regulations were introduced. Mkabile said that she used to sell take-aways, but she had to close the business due to the lockdown which limited her trade.
She decided to start farming crops on three hectares of land nearby. After initially planning to start with crop farming by growing green peppers in summer, she realised that she could also use the winter season to her advantage.
“I went on the internet and I saw that I can plant spinach and cabbage which are winter crops,” said Mkabile. She emphasised, “I saw that spinach is easy to maintain and can survive any weather conditions.” and that was how her journey started.
According to Mkabile, social media was her tool for marketing her agri-business to attract new clientele. She said that this strategy has worked for the business as her story has attracted widespread attention which attracted more business opportunities.
Following a social media post, many people have shown their support as she has sold over 1000 bunches of spinach with one goal in mind – “To feed the nation, one spinach at a time.” Mkabile proudly said.
The local Spar in Khayelitsha Mall took note of Mkabile’s business and she currently is supplying the store with her nutritious produce. “My dream is to get a bigger farm so that I can farm commercially, supply spinach all over South Africa and other countries while creating employment opportunities for people,” she said.
In the summer, she hopes to plant green peppers.
Mkabile’s efforts attracted the attention of the Khayelitsha Business Forum (KBF), who partnered with her to help expand her business. Thobela Gubudela, KBF secretary explained, “We are in partnership with her to expand the scope of farming in Khayelitsha.
Khayelitsha Business Forum secretary Thobela Gubudela said: “We are very proud to have a young female start a farm out of her own pocket and make it a success. We are in partnership with her to expand the scope of farming in Khayelitsha.
Gubudela added that she has inspired both young and old by showing them how to be innovative, creative and solution-driven in their communities.
The inspiring agripreneur has also entered a five-year agreement with Group 500 Investments who assists in developing women-owned entities.
“You need to start small, start with what you have, and gradually grow,” said Mkabile.