Gcina Dlamini

Business name: Gcina Vegs
Owned by: Gcina Dlamini

Area: Steyndorp, Gert Sibande District, Mpumalanga

Sector: Agriculture – Vegetable Farming – Tomatoes and Cabbage




Gcina Vegs started operating in 2012 in Chief Albert Luthilu, Mpumalanga, at the Gert Sibande district. With two hectares of land available for farming, Gcina Vegs produces tomatoes and cabbages. 

All produce are sold for fresh consumption to a variety of consumers and buyers, with the main customer base being that of the local hawkers, Swaziland hawkers, and the feeding schemes. Gcina planted 0.4 hectares of tomatoes and 0.25 hectares of cabbages earlier in 2023, and the tomatoes are currently at harvesting stage, whilst the cabbage is still growing.

The challenges experienced:

PRODUCTION: The main challenge was poor land preparation due to a shortage of tractors and equipment in good condition for proper land preparation, including the lack of skilled tractor operators. The second challenge was the lack of technical knowledge in terms of proper pest control guide and fertilization programs.

• FINANCIAL: He struggled with the sourcing of funds for input capital for his business, making it difficult for him
to grow and/or sustain his business.

• ACCESS TO MARKET: He was mainly selling his produce to the informal markets, which included both local hawkers and
Swaziland hawkers. He was lacking the much-needed access to formal markets that any small-hold farmer needs to
succeed in order to leverage access to financial loans from corporate institutions.

Intervention / Solution:

Gcina was introduced to Timbali in 2022 and became part of Timbali’s Incubation System. He was provided with the necessary technical support, as well as the “McDonalds system” – also known as the “Indlela” of doing things. Timbali provided him with a yellow brick road; a paint-by-numbers system of farming which improved his business.

PRODUCTION: Land preparations are now being done to commercial standards, ensuring optimum yields are achieved. Private tractor contractors were sourced to assist Gcina with quality land preparations. Timbali provided training, as well as operations and procedures manuals to the tractor operators to ensure proper land preparation. Technical support services was provided through its field technicians called PSF Officers. They make frequent visits to the farm to ensure maximum production and to provide daily recommendations or solutions. They provide trouble-shooting at grass-roots levels to all of the issues observed at production level. He was also assisted with all the relevant Operations Procedure Manuals required for production e.g. fertilizer and chemical programs.

MARKET ACCESS: On a monthly basis Timbali hosts Market Access Workshops where buyers can meet the sellers. During these workshops various industry players also join in on the conversation and training. Timbali sourced growing programs from four lucrative markets to which Gcina is currently supplying. From these workshops the farmers have learnt what the market requirements are to supply them accordingly.

FINANCIAL: Timbali facilitated loan financing through its collaboration with Standard Bank South Africa and Gcina received a loan of R88 189 at 0% interest and zero initiation fees. Gcina was able to re-pay the loan in full within his first month of production.


Gcina currently sells his produce to both the formal and informal markets. This provides a good balance needed by small-scale farmers: The informal markets provide the farmer with quick cash, thereby increasing cash flow for his business. The formal markets provide sustainability and assists the farmer’s brand to be more lucrative, increasing his market footprint. Gcina Dlamini is becoming one of the well-recognized small-scale farmers in the Elukwatini area.

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