According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), approximate 70% of the South African population rely directly on agriculture as a means of living.
North-West University (NWU) alumnus and livestock farmer Ipeleng Kwadi hails from Brits in North West, and is shattering age and gender stereotypes with her family owned enterprise, Motsemotala Cooperative Farming.
Growing up in a household that was passionate about farming, Ipeleng says it was her father who taught her and her siblings about farming and nature conservation.
These lessons would prove invaluable later on in her now booming farming career.
"As a kid, I had to feed the chickens, open the kraal for the goats, and make sure they came back. I had to ensure that ill goats received medical treatment, and that animals were comfortable during delivering," Ipeleng explains.
This 29-year-old farmer holds a BEdHons degree from the NWU, as well as various certificates in animal production and farm management.
A self-confessed proponent of innovation and sustainable practices in agriculture, Ipeleng believes the future of farming is in the hands of young people and that it is all about the empowerment of women.
In 2012, Ipeleng started to help manage cattle on a family cattle farm, which gave her the courage to establish her own farm. She now has 11 employees, and raises pigs, goats, chickens, and cattle.
She is passionate about farming, and has initiated various mentorship programmes for young people in the North West province. These include one in partnership with the office of the North West Premier, and another with the National Youth Development Agency as partner.
Ipeleng says one of the most rewarding aspects of her job has been empowering other women. "I like being a role model in society, particularly for young females."
NWU alumnus Ipeleng Kwadi hard at work on her farm.