Hlobisile Bathabile Yende

The Yende and Partners (pty)

What does your company do?

We sell convenience of our processed products, access to implements, education through my agricultural children's book, student training.We contribute to the countries food security status. If you have eaten today please "Thank a farmer". I run a farm situated in Heidelberg on1064 hectares. We have a multifaceted approach to agriculture, focusing on various aspects of livestock production, crop farming, agricultural education, and community engagement. Here's a summary of what our company does: Livestock Production and Processing: Our company prioritizes the welfare and value of livestock by offering comprehensive services such as slaughtering, cleaning, packaging, and delivery. This is where the convenience comes in. Additionally, we supply weaner calves to Karan Beef, Africa's largest feedlot, showcasing your involvement in the broader livestock industry. Grains and Crop Farming: Specializing in yellow maize, soybeans, and butternuts, our company cultivates crops for sale to major retailers and agricultural companies like Afgri. Agricultural Implements and Services: Recognizing the need for access to agricultural implements among farmers, we provide rental options for implements and offer experienced drivers for land preparation, planting, spraying, and harvesting services. Student Programme: Our company runs an accredited and award-winning Student Programme aimed at empowering female students to be commercial farmers. By partnering with universities we provide integrated learning opportunities and access to our established network, fostering the next generation of agricultural commercial leaders. Agricultural Education for Children:In line with our passion for agriculture, we've developed educational children's books targeting young kids as young as four years old. These books fill a gap in the market and aim to instill a love for agriculture from a young age.

What is your biggest success?

Introducing a 3rd commodity to the business and managing to secure major retailers whilst planting on a dryland but getting an extremely big yield.The student programme was awarded the best training initiative award 2023 at the South African Agricultural Awards on June 2023 for the student training initiative (The Yende’s Student Program) that we operate on the farm.I was also recently awarded the “Inspirational Women 2023” award by the Women Navigating the Future Network in partnership with Allan Gray in August 2023.I have also released by first agricultural children’s book titled “Lethu the farmer which is an additional stream of income.The business coming out 3rd place at the Access Bank and Jacaranda FM Womenpreneur Her Perfect Pitch 2023 out of 3000 womenpreneurs business entries in South Africa. The prize money afforded the student programme to be accredited, we improved our breeding stocked by purchasing a new bull for our stud herd, the business now has a communications company, we also received radio airtime worth R100 000 to promote the business on Jacaranda FM which helped us tap into a different market reaching many areas. Named the 2023 Top Achiever Award for the Corteva Women in Agriculture programme sponsored by Corteva Science, Gibs and Food for Mzansi, the monetory prize was used to purchase a stud Ram to improve our breeding stock. The business has grew exponentially from where we started and from when I took over the business from the previous generations.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Our biggest hurdle has been navigating the challenges posed by climate variability and unpredictable weather patterns, particularly in the context of dryland farming. Overcoming water scarcity, soil degradation, and drought conditions has required innovative solutions and adaptive strategies to ensure the sustainability of our agricultural operations. Additionally, accessing financial resources and investment opportunities to support our growth initiatives and expand our impact has been a persistent challenge. Despite these hurdles, our resilience, determination, and commitment to excellence have enabled us to overcome obstacles and continue thriving in the agricultural sector. Being a young female farmer is challenging especially when dealing with commodiaties such as livestock and grains those are typically male dominated spaces we find ourselves having to over explain.