About

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photo 1 Graham and Selwyn Penny

Drakensberg Agricultural Contracting is a father-son run business, with a longstanding family heritage from the surrounding area they serve.

Graham and Selwyn Penny are well-respected members of their community, and form a formidable team, that has established a sound and reliable reputation for the services they offer.

Drakensberg Agricultural Contracting was established in 2008, when Graham’s previous farms in Swartberg, where involved in a land reform deal with the ANC government at the time. At that time, having over 30-years of farming experience, managing over 2500 hectare’s of land for various enterprises, Graham was a successful and well-respected farmer in the area. He subsequently decided to form his own agricultural contracting company, whereby he could exercise his wealth of experience and continue doing what he loved.

Selwyn joined Graham in 2010 after completing his BSc (Hons) in Property Development at the University of Cape Town, and spending a short time working as a field guide at Phinda Private Game Reserve in northern KZN. Having learnt quickly from his father, Selwyn has a sound grasp of the principles and practices that are relevant to the services they offer, and is an invaluable asset to Drak Agri.

Not only is Drak Agri involved in providing their services to their local agricultural community, but they also largely deal with the national and provincial governments, to aid with their sustainable food programs.

 

 

 

 

 

Why hire a contractor?

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In nearly all-first world agricultural industries, farmers tend to solely use and rely on the services of contractors to fulfil their relevant agricultural requirements. This is primarily due to the

efficiency and effectiveness of specialisation. Through acquiring the specialised services of an individual, to fulfil a certain task, not only are you ensuring the job will be done by a qualified and experienced contractor, in order to best optimise your chances of success, but you as an individual farmer can have the peace of mind that the job is in the best capable hands, and free up invaluable time to focus on the core aspects of your farming enterprise. This allows you the time to specialise in running the most efficient and profitable farming enterprise you can.

Gone are the good old days of the past in South Africa, when the farmer owned all his own land, machinery, equipment and staff, and managed it all himself. The political climate on its own is a point of contention, with regards to land and particularly with regards to labour. The current labour laws and stipulated minimum wage, are becoming and ever increasing burden on the farmer. The exchange rates are weakening and are forcing the prices of already expensive machinery, through the roof. The economic climate of the current agricultural industry in South Africa is dire – with input costs increasing disproportionate to output sales, each and every farmer needs to be spending more time on his business and less time in it. Instead of being consumed all day, every day by the work detail, he needs to be managing and honing his operation into the most efficient and effective operation it could be.

Through hiring the services of a contractor, the farmer can alleviate many, if not all these burdens. By relying on a contractor you do not require the extra staff, the extra housing, salaries and general management headache that we have become accustomed to. Instead, if and when required, he can hire the services of a contractor who will arrive with his own dedicated and well trained operative.

The farmer does not require extra machinery in order to be able to fulfil his operations –  saving on the management, maintenance and photo 1cost of such machinery, not to mention the depreciation of it. To justify spending hundreds of thousands of Rands on an implementation that will work for a handful of days during the year, and then sit in the yard, depreciating, and all the while likely costing a huge amount in HP’s each month, is difficult. Through employing the services of a contractor you won’t need to – not to mention the time saving in fixing breakdowns and the associated costs. The farmer is also not limiting himself and his operation to the capacity of his current machinery. Instead, through the use of a contractor, he has access to up-to-date machinery and the latest technology – allowing him to deploy the would be capital expenditure into other, more rewarding income generating activities, at a capacity that is not limited by his current fleet of agricultural equipment.The professional expertise of the contractor who’s sole job is to complete the required task to the best of his ability, is able to employ this wealth of experience and specialised machinery, and focus on the relevant operation, without the distractions of running the rest of the farming enterprise at the same time. Allowing the farmer to spend his time where it is needed, managing fewer machines, fewer staff and ultimately enabling him to be more efficient at his core enterprise.