Tongaat farmer is SA’s best

2015-11-11 06:00
Photo: DARSHAN RANGAIAnthony and Tanya Goble with their daughter Jessica.

Photo: DARSHAN RANGAIAnthony and Tanya Goble with their daughter Jessica.

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INNOVATIVE management, new ideas and a passion for agriculture has made Tongaat’s Anthony Goble the national Agri SA / Toyota SA Young Farmer of the Year.

Goble was first awarded with the KZN Kwanalu young Farmer of the Year title a few months ago and went on to compete with industry leaders from around the country.

The young farmers were assessed on their vision for their management and business as well as the technical competence with which their philosophy is applied to their business.

“The whole process gets you thinking and looking at your position differently and it was an amazing experience because you also get to learn while being judged,” said Goble.

This was the first time that someone from KZN has won the title and Goble says he hopes this will encourage the local industry to also be bold in their approach to the industry.

Goble is the fifth generation of his family to farm in Tongaat.

Aside form the 280ha family sugar-cane farm, Goble runs another five separate farms including 430ha of cane and another 340ha that he leases from land reform beneficiaries, bringing the total area under sugar-cane to 1050ha.

Since inheriting the farm after his father passed, Goble has diversified into 12ha of bananas and 5ha of macadamia nuts.

He also leases out 20ha a year to local madumbi growers as part of a crop rotation scheme.

Goble has made it his mission to look at the best and most innovative ways to farm and grow his crops while training his team to excel at their jobs.

Goble encouraged other farmers to always look at new information and look to move forward in their businesses.

“In all things in life if you put in the effort and continually strive to improve, you will succeed. Identify a problem that needs solving and work on it until you get a solution and implement it and you carry on like that in all aspects of life to improve,” said Goble.

To create his winning philosophies, Goble travelled the country visiting dozens of farms and speaking to their owners to find out their methods and create his own methods of growing his crops.

The win has already uplifted the mood in the farming industry in the current drought.

“People in the farming community have not been very optimistic with the drought, but this has lifted the mood. The response has been overwhelming and to see how excited others farmers are is encouraging,” said Goble.

In years to come, Goble hopes to see the agricultural sector diversify by providing agricultural tours similar to the wine farms so as to boost the economy and tourism in Tongaat.

The father-of-three said it was an amazing feeling being recognised for his years of work, but commended his family and management team for their support.

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