Zanele Shongwe - Manzini, Kutsimuleni

FARMER PROFILE

Full name : Zanele T. Shongwe
Region : Manzini
Location : Kutsimuleni
Farm area : 1 hectare (ha)
Crops : Green leafy vegetables and fruit trees

Zanele Shongwe is a 58-year-old entrepreneur who is passionate about farming. She is 4 years in to farming with the help of her husband, Dr. Nash Shongwe and income she makes from hawking. Her initial reasons for farming were to feed the less privileged people in her area and to keep the youth busy. She later realized that she could make a living out of it, so she invested in installing drip irrigation pipes which she uses to date together with farrow irrigation method. She also makes use of marketing extension officers from Namboard and extension officers from the ministry of agriculture.

Make Shongwe grows both baby and conventional vegetables which she supplies to Namboard, vendors and sells locally in her area. She has a pawpaw orchard that is 0.5 hectors from which produce she supplies to Namboard and local shops. Make Shongwe has two permanent, youthfully employees and hires casual labour especially during harvesting of her baby vegetables.

The challenges make Shongwe faces with her farming include that of expensive agricultural inputs, steep government payment scale, and affordability to provide training for her staff. Her goal is to buy her own van to transport produce to market. She also wants to expand her farm so that she can be able to empower even more people from her area.