Leeko Makoena: The agriculturalist
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Leeko Makoena @leeko_madewithrural @Leeko_79 is the founder of Made with Rural @madewithrural, an agribusiness which links small-scale farmers in rural areas to sustainable markets. Leeko, who herself originally hails from a rural farming village near Mahikeng, says that the reason small-scale farmers are not successful is due to a lack of access to information and resources. For this reason, she created an app called Pocket Crop which provides rural farmers with access to information on how to better manage their farms, collaboration opportunities so that they are collectively able to buy inputs and sell produce at greater scale (and thus compete with more established farms), opportunities to network amongst each other and information on market trends and weather patterns. She is committed to making farming a more attractive occupation for younger folk by introducing technology in order to sustain agriculture and farming as a long-term occupation of choice in South Africa.
We are inspired by Leeko's story as her business focuses on two critical areas - food and employment, in a country where low-level skill jobs are in short supply but much needed, given the extremely high unemployment and poverty rates. Leeko's efforts over the last two years have already started paying off significantly - one of the farmers she has worked with has seen his revenue increase from R2000 to R100K per month!
When Leeko feels stress taking a toll on her she uses one of two stress coping mechanisms: “Go to the movies (yep, even if it means I cancel or reschedule a meeting)” “Sleep - I would pack up in the middle of a work day and switch off for a few hours”
Featured artist: Robyn Richards @Robyn_alexandra93