Thaba Nchu-based Rejanala Farms and Projects Pty Ltd, situated in Merino Trust, a village in Thaba Nchu, has been making great strides in the agricultural sector this year, the latest being selected as one of eight international companies chosen for the Global Entrepreneur Network.
“We went and pitched our business before the council of ministers. We made it through the first phase and then they wanted us to put our pitch on paper, adding how the funding would help us achieve our goals for the second phase. We were then picked among the top eight business entrepreneur impact-related startups globally,” said Rejanala Farms CEO, Francis Mande.
Later this week the company will be in Johannesburg where Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, will officially open the 10th anniversary celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week by participating in the launch of a new start-up campus in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The farm is currently busy creating a production pump station in order to irrigate all the fields from one point on the farm. They have extended their farm from 70 hectares to 200 hectares with the help of a loan from the Masisizane Fund, an agricultural wing of the Old Mutual Fund, and now have a total of 50 employees from the Merino area.
“We expect to have a high production as we are moving into the second phase of agro processing. We have received a loan of R2. 6 million for the expansion and irrigation system from 70 to 200 hectares. We have been laying 2.9 km of the pipe network of the farm, so that we will be able to irrigate from the pump station,” he said.
Mande added that they had estimated their first interim sales to make about R50 thousand, but the first sales were way above that at about R1.6 million rand, and with the expansion they are looking at an estimated R4.9 million.
“Next year we will be looking into agro-processing. We are purchasing an agro-processing plant from China that will help generate the much needed technical and engineering jobs. And it will be operating in Merino. We are engaging our local boys and girls. We are sending them to China so that they can learn about these machines and when they come back they will be operating in our own environment. This means we will be retaining all those big profits.”
Mande said that as the farm grows, so does the excitement and support of the people of Merino and Thaba Nchu as a whole. And they are looking forward to reaching higher goals in the coming years.