Brendon Nithianandham, Head of Farmer Extension & Support Services

“I joined Siyazisiza because I want to make a difference in Black emerging farmer’s lives, and I believe that I have the capacity to contribute to their success. I think there’s nothing more comforting than a farmer waking up in the morning to water [their produce], to remove weeds, to apply fertilizer, etc. sitting with the assurance that their product is going to sell.”

Most of Brendon’s high school years were spent at Zakhe Agricultural College, a farming college for high school learners in Baynersfield Estate, Kwa-Zulu Natal. The school’s ethos, innovative teaching style and daily chores – such as milking a cow for the morning milk, harvesting mealies for dinner and slaughtering cows and chickens for weekly meals – exposed Brendon and his peers to the farm-to-table process from a young age.

Brendon holds two qualifications that compliment his personality and ambitions. His post-matric qualification in Business Management also earned him an impressive stint as a Field Manager with Diageo, a private sales company. His love for agriculture further pushed Brendon to advance his studies in Permaculture principles of Farming. Brendon then managed Sesisonke Farm – in Harrismith (in the Free State province) – which proved a strenuous role that nevertheless groomed him until he was ready to invest his skills and resources into the working class.

Brendon joined Siyazisiza as a Field Officer for the Nongoma region in April 2018. But it is his business acumen which is seamlessly intertwined with his agricultural expertise that progressed him to the role of Supply Chain Coordinator. The role involves linking produce on the ground with the market, facilitating local markets, training farmers on the market required quality, grading and quantity of a product and is a prime position for Brendon’s goal to facilitate better economic opportunities for Black small-holder farmers.