By Agreement Mabunda
SHILUVANE-Samuel Hloniphani Manabe (41) is the founder, owner, and director of Samuel Manabe Enterprise (SAME) Agro.
SAME Agro is the idea that was brought in 2015 as the fruit and vegetables packaged products.
Manabe is a crop farmer, an entrepreneur, and a business consultant. He was born in Bethlehem, Free State about 42 years ago.
According to Manabe, he was exceptionally gifted. He was popularly known for his high pass rate both in primary and high school, as he was always a top 3 learner.
While he was in Gauteng he saw a street vendor selling cabbages and carrots which helped thousands of people, more especially workers to cook fast their evening meals when they come from work.
“The more I put the idea at experiments, which was my best traits, was the more I got too brewed to make it happen, and that is where I found where to put it. I saw a void on how I can start and make a business out of that idea, that is close to how McCain produce and process their products”.
AGRIPRENEUR: Samuel Manabe instilling the culture of farming in young people.
In 2016, he explored the community development with deep rural communities whereby he was invitated by his friend Lemmy, where he formed and registered an organisation that provided more than fifteen (15) community projects around 23 villages of three tribals namely Mulima, Muwaweni, and Muila tribes in Makhado Municipality.
In 2019, Manabe moved back to Tzaneen to make his dream a reality. He then started his project at Ezekhaya Farm, an old farm that was owned by Chief Nwamitwa Two (II) in early 2019.
“Although the project did not start as it was drawn due to family complications that interfered and hinder the progress of the agro planned farming type I was planning,” he explained.
Ezekhaya Farm: The future of Agriculture
Meanwhile in 2019 during the winter season, after the cultivation of Cayenne Pepper Chillies and processing the chillies to the first bottles of sweet chilli sauces that he was founded by Extension Agriculture Officer, Mr. Ramatladi who saw the different types of farming that Manabe showcased.
However, later that year, SAME Brands was then summoned to meet the nearest Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as a small start-up enterprise with Tzaneen Agri Expo, Countryside Lodge, Tarentaalrand, and other enterprises.
After the emergence of Covid-19, Manabe as the owner of Ezekhaya farm was leased to farm SAME Brands for five years with support from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Greater Tzaneen Municipality.
SAME Brands then changed to SAME Agro when differences in managing the project to new expanded projects that dismantled three director’s ownerships.
Manabe further explained where he drew his inspiration from, “what inspired my farming was my three years in Makhado community villages, where all the projects I assisted started farming, bakery projects, sewing and small profitable projects that got successful in their small targets and that is when I decided to go out and make my name.” Manabe stated.
He emphasised that his mission is to for SAME Agro to be McCain’s competitor. The Agripreneur said he wants his project to be the best in Tzaneen and a leading project, he further stated that it will bring joy to his life if it can also second-best to its competitors which are Tiger Brands and Pioneer Foods.
He also mentioned that his success was measured in the past twelve years whereby he was the service provider to practical crop production training to university students on the farm.
SAME AGRO: The Products are ready for Markets
“Already with all the operations that we have grown to implement to build SAME Agro high, we have found a lot of progress in a short space of time that also gave us our vision to be job creators where every year we train twenty-five students with our new partnership with TUT and believed that employment will come with this innovation”. He added.
Manabe is mentoring more than 100 farmers and he said it is pleasing to know that SAME Agro has been inspiring many small farmers locally. He also mentioned that SAME Agro also donates their produced harvest to less privileged families, creches, and drop-in-centers.
“Believing in yourself only comes when you continue working and finding solutions and alternatives,” he said.
Manabe concluded with a bit of advice to young and upcoming farmers.
“Never say you are suffering and poor originating. I lived my whole life without a house and nothing because my parents were not there but if you believe in yourself that you can be something, your wheels keep on rolling and the only thing you have to do is to wear that dream and wake up with it to make it real”