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Photo above: commercial silos (see last letter on this page)


Dear Sir/ madam

I want to know what requirement needed if you need a loan to start a cows farming business. I have land the problem is start up capital of R80 000 and the big problem I am not in employment I’m age of 24.  
Thank you

Hi Fikakahle

If you already have land you should speak to your provincial department of agriculture and the IDC about their Nguni Cattle project. They give you ten cows (or whatever) and after a few years you give ten cows back, but by that time those cows have had calves and given you a chance to start your own herd.

You should also speak to NERPO, an organisation that helps people like you with their cattle operations. See

Most other groups will only help you if you have a mentor i.e. someone who is already a cattle farmer and who can show you the way, or if you have some training/qualification.

After that, I can only refer you to the “Beef cattle farming” and “Finance for new farmers and SMMEs” pages and hope with you that you get some assistance there. See and

Best wishes,


I am interested in starting a chicken farming business dealing with Specifically Layer Hens and Broiler Chickens so I need to get suppliers of chickens and info of chicken farming kind regards

Hi Lerato

There is a lot of information on the poultry and chicken farming page, see

Suppliers of chicken are listed under the companies involved heading, see specifically the “Some suppliers of chicks and breeding stock” subheading at

There is help for interested new farmers. Find details of associations, people who do training and some very useful sources of information (brochures, articles and books), all on this web page.

Best wishes,


I’m interested in farming with emphasis on crop farming. Could you please assist me with more information on where I can get assistance on drawing up a professional agri-business plan. people that can also assist with soil profiling and suitability tests for my crops, fertilizer requirements and suitable irrigation methods for my crops.
Thank you in advance.

Hi Nathi

The main source of help will probably be your nearest provincial department of agriculture. They have laboratories, for example, to help with soil tests and advice for crops. They run short courses as well to impart the crucial skills that you will need. The Agricultural Research Council also does a lot of work in assisting people get their enterprises off the ground. There are many other sources of help which we run through on the emerging farmer support page. See

The Department of Agriculture designed many publications, including one on business plans, which are available on its website. See

The different crops are listed under the agronomy, forestry & industrial crops and horticulture sections on our website. Find these under “Contents” on the landing page of the Agribook website. You will find the notes helpful whether you already know what you wish to grow or not.

Best wishes,


We have sunflower seeds around bloemfontein and we  would like you to link us with the buyers

Hi Graff

Marketing the crop can be as much work as growing it, unless you have this tied down before growing it. I’m trusting you aren’t expecting the name and phone number of an individual who will accept the seeds and pay you today. I can’t help you with that, but let’s look at options.

  • The South African Cereals and Oilseeds Trade Association (SACOTA) will be your first bet. See
  • The nearest commercial silo owners are another. You will know the big silos near Bloem and be aware of which companies operate there. These will probably be Senwes or VKB.
  • You also have the option of seed sellers. The companies that sell sunflower seeds are listed at
  • You also have the option of selling them to supermarkets or pet shops as bird seed. There are probably health shops in Bloemfontein too who might be interested, particularly if your seeds are organically grown.
  • Finally, you could crush the seeds and sell the oil. There is usually more profit when you process the crop which will be true in your case too. Role players like the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) Agricultural Engineering could help you with equipment like this. The ARC has a presence at Glen, just outside Bloemfontein. There will be other role players there to give you advice.

My best wishes,

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