Niche Farmers, a first-of-its kind English agri-tv series, will start airing on e.tv in August with same week repeats on eXtra and Honey on DStv.
The series, sponsored by Laeveld Agrochem, will tell the aspiring stories of both successful black commercial farmers and “niche” farmers, to inspire others. Essentially, the aim is to show that everyone with a little bit of space and the hunger to succeed can become a niche farmer.
Guests at the glitzy launch event which took place at Ingaadi Spa & Event Venue, included farmers, the proverbial “cream of the crop”, who received a special mention by MC and well-known actor Anton Schmidt. “When we eat, let’s never forget that we have a farmer to thank for that”, he says.
Niche Farmers will be hosted by the popular radio personalities Wilson B. Nkosi and Rozanne McKenzie, both of whom are also experienced television presenters. Nkosi shared that he has always had the desire to do something deeper, something that truly speaks to the human condition. “Niche Farmers has finally made it possible for me to do just that.”
According to McKenzie, Niche Farmers will without doubt debunk conventional views about agriculture and create a new narrative of what it really means to be a “farmer”. As such, the show will feature lesser-known farming enterprises which produce the likes of mushrooms, honey, saffron, berries and truffles. Successful black commercial farmers who produce more common staple foods will also be profiled, telling the stories of their daily struggles, and the key partners who are instrumental in their success.
“We anticipate that the series will create enormous viewer interest, as it is both insightful and practical, unlike anything we’ve ever seen”, says e.tv’s Bennum van Jaarsveld.
As a natural extension of the SAFTA-awarded Afrikaans television show, Nisboere, Niche Farmers aims to equip both budding and successful black farmers with useful information.
“So, apart from seeing what can be done,” according to Corné Liebenberg of Laeveld Agrochem, “viewers of Niche Farmers will be able to find out how to do it through a series of useful “WRAP” articles that will be shared free of charge with viewers.
It is in this spirit of enabling emerging black farmers with the necessary information to succeed, that each of the sub-sponsors for the series have been selected. For Aron Kohle, managing director of FarmSol, who is also the first episodic sub-sponsor, it is a simple agreement: “As ‘farmers of farmers’ we look forward to making a contribution to what promises to be a life-changing series for all farmers at heart.”
Guests at the launch event were also treated to a live performance of the show’s theme song, “Together we rise,” written by William B. Nkosi and performed by the internationally acclaimed Mzansi Youth Choir. Nkosi said that the essence of the song is about helping each other to bring hope in an often-hopeless world, which is exactly what Niche Farmers is all about.
The first ever episode of Niche Farmers, which guests at the event had a sneak preview of, goes to air early August. The show will reach viewers in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, DRC and Cameroon.
WATCH: Niche Farmers
ALSO READ: WC Agri Minister Ivan Meyer visits small-scale farmers in Ebenehauser
Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer recently visited small-scale farmers in Ebenhaeser, in the Matzikama Municipality. Two such farmers are Natasha Love and Niklaas Le Roux who are both supported by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA)
Natasha farms on two hectares. She produces Chenin Blanc grapes which is sold to Cederberg Cellar. The wine is then produced, bottled and exported to Sweden. Natasha: “The Western Cape Department of Agriculture kindly took us by the hand to establish these vineyards. I currently have sixteen thousand vines on these two hectares. I want to increase this. The revitalisation of the Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme should provide ample opportunities for me to achieve this goal.”