Rejanala making strides in agri sector

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CEO of Rejanala Farms, Francis Mande, says they hope to make their mark in the agricultural sector.

Rejanala farm, which is situated in the village of Merino in Thaba Nchu, is slowly making its mark in the agriculture sector. The farm, which currently produces legumes and beans, has been looking into expanding its production. It started out selling its beans for R10 and R15 to Thaba Nchu residents, but has now started supplying Tiger Brands with its product.
CEO of Rejanala Farms, Francis Mande, said they started working with the Tiger Brands during mid-March. “We went to Tiger Brands company to see if we can have it as our client. The company gave us a trial period to see if we could penetrate the market, and also gave us an order of about 100 tons, which is about R1,8 million,” he said.
Rejanala had 63 seasonal workers working for them, but the workers only worked during harvesting. Mande added that since receiving the purchasing order they have been able to hire more people. “We had to increase the number of employees for harvesting so that we’ll be able to reach the target, so we’ve created more jobs,” he boasted.
Mande said although they have been growing as a farm, this has proven to be a tough challenge. “The market structure is usually monopolised in the country, so it needs a lot of one-on-one appointments and lobbying for you to get into that area. As most of the market is not very welcoming to new entrants, it makes it difficult.”
The next big project for Rejanala is essential oil farming. Mande said that preparations are going well and they will start planting in August. “South African Breweries, under the SAB foundation, has purchased about 40 thousand seedlings for the essential oil that we need to plant by August,” said Mande.
Mande said that since first appearing in Voice, they have received many calls from interested investors. He said companies such as SAB has offered them mentorship. Sun International and Thaba Nchu Drilling have also supported them immensely.
He said Rejanala hopes to make their mark in the agricultural sector with their next big project, which is the production of essential oils. – Seithati Semenokane 
seithati@centralmediagroup.co.za