His farming business is expanding. In 2009, he started the business with only six hectares under management, but has now expanded to 8000 hectares spread across two locations and three farms.
Of the three, two are in Sherwood before Martin’s Drift border and one in Tati. The two farms in Sheerword, Kijane Ranch and Seleka farm get irrigation water from the Limpopo River while the Tati farm gets water from Tati River.
Speaking on behalf of the business, Donald Maika of Cultivo Advisory Firm says of the 8000 hectares, at least 550 hectares is under irrigation. Maika explains that JP Roos Vegetables mainly grows Potatoes, Carrots, tomatoes and peppers with 90 percent of their produce going to local retailers and chain stores while 10 percent goes to local tradesmen. He says that they currently employ 200 people on a full time basis with 65 percent of them being female.
Maika says that because of their overall company outlook, they approached the National Development Bank (NDB) in 2020 to seek assistance with production loans for their 2021 cropping season. He further explains that the partnership with NDB is a good one as they were seeking to restructure the company’s balance sheet.
He states that the process with NDB was a flawless and professional one as they too were keen on their outlook and saw great potential for change. He further says the process with the bank was timely as they were only delayed by the bond application processes.
Maika further explains that JP Roos Vegetables is currently implementing a growth strategy for Agricultural Conglomerate which other than diversification wishes to support tradesmen and secure a substantive amount of produce for resell.
Amongst the many factors affecting production, the vegetable farm currently struggles with the mitigation of pests and diseases, the weather conditions and mainly material supply. Maika says that they are currently sourcing their input materials from South-Africa after a realisation that locally there is little to no skills and knowledge not forgetting capacity. He explains that when they want material it’s either they get too little of it or none at all.
In an effort to ensure there is enough skill demonstration from small farmers, he says that they are currently in preparation of creating mentorship and training programmes to stimulate food production by year end.