Family farm on impressive growth path



MASERU – ’Mamothibe Mothibe, a 32-year-old director at Mothibe Family Farm (MOFAFA), oversees operations at a dairy farm, specialising in the sale of raw, fresh milk, sour milk, cows, and farm feed. Situated in Masianokeng within the Maseru district, the farm serves as a cornerstone of local agricultural activity. Mothibe and her husband, Kebitsamang Mothibe, embarked on their entrepreneurial journey following their marriage in 2014. Their initial step occurred in 2015, when her husband acquired a cow at an auction. Over the years, their enterprise has flourished, currently boasting a herd of 15 cows. Equipped with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Entrepreneurship, Mothibe complements her husband, who holds a Masters in Food Engineering. Together, they form a dynamic duo, each contributing significantly to the growth and prosperity of MOFAFA.

Mothibe emphasises the importance of continuous learning and actively participates in various programmes and competitions to enhance her knowledge and business acumen. “I participated in competitions like Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM), which provided valuable training in teaching and navigating the business environment. Additionally, I joined the African Female Small Business online platform. These programmes were instrumental in shaping my business trajectory,” says Mothibe.

The farm was inaugurated in 2018. Initially, the couple kept one cow on their property, eventually expanding to two. Realising the need for separation between their family space and the business operations, they made the decision to purchase a dedicated site for the cows. This separation was crucial, as Mothibe recognised the necessity of generating returns on their investments in cattle.

Shortly after registering the business, they secured a contract with Lesotho Dairy Products to supply milk daily. Additionally, they provide milk to local processors for the production of cheese, yoghurt, and various other dairy products.

Their clientele also includes members of their own community. Currently, the farm employs eight individuals, comprising four permanent and four temporary workers. With a focus on cost minimisation and increased production, they recognised the importance of securing a reliable source of feed.

In pursuit of this goal, the Mothibes developed MOFAFA Organic Feed, launched in 2020. Utilising waste materials, this innovative feed enhances milk production while offering a cost-effective alternative for cattle nutrition, ensuring the cows maintain optimal fat content in their milk.

Competing in the animal feed sector, they earned top honours in the Prime Minister’s initiative known as Sebabatso, highlighting their commitment to addressing the challenge of expensive feeding practices in the industry.

Following the business registration, the farming couple swiftly secured a contract with Lesotho Dairy Products for daily milk supply. Additionally, they cater to local processors, providing milk for the production of cheese, yoghurt, and various dairy products, including serving the needs of their local community.

The farm currently employs eight individuals, consisting of four permanent staff and four temporary workers. Mothibe expresses their aspiration to automate all aspects of their operations, including the implementation of milking machines to streamline the process for all workers. Reflecting on the early challenges of their business journey, they recount struggles with common ailments afflicting dairy cows, such as mastitis and milk fever, which resulted in significant losses.

Looking ahead, Mothibe outlines a strategic vision for the next five years, aiming to position their business as a leading processing company. The couple emphasises the importance of maximising milk production through sustained feeding practices, recognising that relying on external milk sources for processing undermines profitability. Their future plans include diversifying their product range to include items like butter, cheese, and yoghurt.

Furthermore, Mothibe continues to enhance their knowledge and skills through participation in the National University of Lesotho’s (NUL) HUB of Competitiveness and Financial Inclusion (CAFI) programme, where they recently received a grant of M129,000.

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