Become a farmer to feed yourself, feed your family, and feed your community

From the soil to the soul: Unlocking the potential of emerging black farmers

Agriculture currently outperforms every other sector in the economy of our sunny Mzansi. In 2020, for example, our farming industry exported crops worth USD10.2 billion to other countries. Unfortunately, less than 10% of our total agricultural output is produced by black South African farmers. We therefore need to start sowing and nurturing the seeds to help grow a much-needed crop of black farmers for the next generation, and we need to start today.

According to Aron Kohle, Managing Director of FarmSol, who position themselves as “farmers of farmers”, you just need a small plot of land or even a backyard garden to start farming. However, FarmSol also understands that a piece of land alone cannot produce a farmer and you cannot reap what you don’t know. This simple, yet powerful, truth lies at the heart of the work that FarmSol does – all of which serves to help individuals realise their dream of becoming a farmer.

FarmSol’s approach is built on three main building blocks.

The first is access to funding to help these farmers buy the equipment and goods they need.

The second is access to market, because as soon as they harvest their crops, they need a steady supply chain to which it can be sold.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the ongoing mentorship and support FarmSol offers budding black farmers to help them through their daily struggles so they can reach their full potential. This includes technical and legal support.

To become a farmer is tough, as it has many challenges, but it also has many rewards. Studies show that farming is two to three times more effective in reducing poverty than any other industry.

Farming is also the best solution to food insecurity and starvation on our planet. Simply put, when we farm, we feed not only ourselves and our families but also our communities, our country, and the rest of the people on earth. As best said by an African proverb, “The best of mankind is a farmer; the best food is fruit.”

Our varied climate makes South Africa’s farming sector one of the most diverse in the world, and we produce a wide variety of crops, including vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains such as barley, maize, oats, sorghum and wheat. The excellent quality of our grains, fruit and wines make them sought-after in other countries, which provides great opportunities for export.

Aron Kohle’s best advice to all those farmers at heart who would like to tap into the vast potential of farming is to just start. “Plant that cabbage, rear that hen; but start right where you are and start now,” he says. For more information on the aid that FarmSol can provide to emerging black farmers, visit