Manzini Nazarene Mission Station,

House F20, 310, Dr David HYND Street, Farm 705.

Contact Information

Tel: (+288) 2505 6504 / 6045
Fax: 2505 8216

Working Hours

08:00 AM - 05:00PM Mon - Thu
08:00 AM - 02:00PM Friday

INNOVATIVE AGRI-BUSINESS WITH RESILIENT MAFU’s FARMING

Thembisile Mpumelelo Mafu is the founder of Resilient Mafu’s Farming, A business that has been operating since 2021.

Resilient Mafu’s Farming operates at Thembisile’s parental home at Hlatsi, PhansaMbulungwane in the Shiselweni region under the Sandleni constituency.

Resilient Mafu’s Farming cultivates vegetables, mainly cabbages, green beans, green peppers, spinach, and lettuce. She also grows cayenne pepper chilies, maize, and beans seasonally.

“We are also involved in agro-processing for value addition and to prevent post-harvest losses. So, some of the vegetables grown are processed into vegetable atcher and the cayenne pepper chillies are processed into cayenne pepper sauce” she shared. Thembisile also produces jam with emajoti and guavas when they are in abundance.

Thembisile is very passionate about farming, she is certified in climate-smart farming, Dairy Processing and can perform artificial insemination in cows.

Thembisile started the business with cayenne pepper seedlings, which cost E400, and paid E200 for half an hour of service by a rental tractor for ploughing. “I then added cabbages and due to water shortages and irrigation problems, I decided to grow beans, maize, and sweet potatoes and rely on the rains,” she added.

“The farm started on 1/2 hectors land and today we are on 3 hectors. The business is now registered, and a part of the farm is now fenced.” Responding to who her market was, Thembisile said Resilient Mafu’s Farming sells to both formal and informal markets.

Thembisile joined JAE through Facebook, where she applied and fortunately was selected for one of the organization’s entrepreneurship training programs.

Through JAE she says has learned a lot through their entrepreneurial programs. She has been equipped with business writing skills, and record keeping and has also been allowed to use their computer and internet facility in Nhlangano for business purposes. She is also able to exhibit her products under JAE.

The business is growing, and she can earn a comfortable living through it. She says it keeps her busy, sane, and happy. She has made a lot of international business connections and can share business ideas and also learn from them.

When she started farming,she further states,  there was only one lady, Nikiwe Dlamini ( Nikkie the farmer), who believed in her and mentored her as she started. She has many mentors as she is someone who is always willing to learn, amongst them is Prince Linda Dlamini, Claudia Castellanos, ESNAU, FINCLUDE, Ministry of Agriculture and Woman farmer foundation.

Some of the challenges she is facing as she is trying to grow the business is the issue of land but she counters this by renting fields from other homesteads, especially for the cultivation of beans and the maize. The other challenge is not having enough resources, like proper irrigation system as she uses buckets to water the vegetables. She further raises climate change as another challenge to the stability of her business.

Her plans in the next 3 years are to be farming on 20-hectare land and creating permanent jobs for industry peers, having a processing structure for her agro-processing products, having a commercial tunnel and exporting some of her produce.

“To the young people out there; start small, start with what you have, even if they don’t believe in but you believe you can do it and you feel you can do it, just do it! ask and be always willing to learn from others, never stop learning and trying, attend workshops and trainings. Make friends and use social media wisely, there are many opportunities especially for the youth out there. Apply for every opportunity that comes along. Be bold! Be RESISTANT!”