By: Tebogo Mokwena
With over 30 years of practical experience in the agriculture sector, it made perfect sense for Samuel Poto to establish himself as an agricultural entrepreneur and trainer. Not only does he provide agricultural products, but through his business, Sanki Khulu Concepts Solutions, he is an accredited AgriSETA trainer. The company, which is based in Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga, was established in 2019. It manufactures seeds, manure, chemicals and different fertilisers, and specialises in field crops, sunflowers and beans.
It also offers agricultural advisory services, training and mentorship. “Some of the advisory services we provide include how to incorporate new technology into the agriculture and farming of a business, how to farm profitably, producing for both local and international markets, converting indigenous farming practices into commercial and profitable agribusiness practices, and the importance of investing in farm workers,” Poto told Vutivi News.
“We also understand how difficult it is for farmers to access markets, so we provide guidance on being market-led and not production-driven.” To ensure that the company offers the best services, Poto has a team of seven specialists. “We have two plant and crop specialists, an agronomist, a soil scientist, a crop production agriculture advisor, a crop production assessor and a crop production agriculture advisor.” According to Poto, providing emerging farmers with the necessary skills and tools lay at the heart of his business.
“Our goals and objectives are to expose the farmer to best practices in farming, to expose them to all the operations of a farming venture and to guide the producer to make sound business and technical agricultural decisions,” he said. “We have worked with national, provincial and municipal departments, and as an accredited AgriSETA training and mentorship provider, we have worked with agricultural training colleges, commercial farmers and farming businesses, fresh produce markets and also agricultural engineering firms.”
Poto’s experience in the sector gave him the upper hand when he started his business, and he said that it provided him with the necessary cushion to prevent himself from facing major challenges within the sector. It also worked in his favour that he had worked for the Mpumalanga government since 1989 and had a master’s degree in sustainable agriculture from the University of the Free State and a B-Tech degree in agricultural extension and rural development.
Poto told Vutivi News that the recognition he received within the sector for his work has humbled him and he planned to continue empowering emerging and small-scale farmers for the next five to 10 years. “I will continue to be involved in developing farmers, as our country has the potential to solve many of the continent’s problems relating to agriculture.”