Sustainable Rabbit Farming: Profiling Ms Tshidi Mokoma and Olive Leaf Investments

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Olive Leaf Investment was established by Ms Tshidi Mokoma to contribute toward food security in South Africa through rabbit farming. The business started as Ms Mokoma developed the passion for agriculture after attending a 3-day workshop on 'Foundations for Farming', (formerly called Farming For God’s Way). Her interest for agriculture lies in teaching the nation on how to be able to feed itself in a simple and effective way and hence she launched herself into rabbit farming.

Ms Mokoma holds a degree in Accounting and Taxation from the University of South Africa and University of North West and a Master’s in Emerging Management and Development Programme (EMDP) from the University of Bloemfontein. She worked in the finance sector for Governmental Organisations and Parastatals for over 12 years before she decided to leave her job and dedicate her life to the agriculture sector.

"Rabbits have less requirements compared to other livestock in term of capital investment, operating costs and maintenance, yet they have quick returns and high demand. To fulfil the food demand for a growing population, different ways of food production are required and rabbit known as ‘micro-livestock’ is a great source of food. The product is categorised as white lean meat which has a low fat content and is easily digestible and highly nutritious with the highest amount of protein compared to other meats available in the market," Ms Mokoma elaborated.

She is a Sophiatown Green Incubation graduate and was the first runner up for 'Best Female Green Entrepreneur of the year - Beeston awards 2017'. She has been recognised by the Department of Agriculture in South Africa as one of the young women who are making great strides and a contribution in the field of bioscience. She has also received first runner up for Youth in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Awards 2017 (YAFF).

In light of improving the quality of life of people by putting forward ways to ensure sustainable supply of food, Ms Mokoma was propelled to start a rabbit farming mentorship programme through which she trains, mentors and empowers new rabbit farmers in the rural areas of the Limpopo province through her company "The Rabbitville" which is a Green Emerging Rabbit Farming Operation based in Limpopo. The Rabbitville has secured access to a large rabbit supply contract and seeks to leverage this opportunity to establish organic rabbit breeding and an agro-processing facility in Limpopo and to support other emerging farmers from the region and throughout South Africa to benefit as well. To date, The Rabbitville has secured the partnership and support of several stakeholders to develop an agro-processing centre that seeks to unlock this opportunity together with her company.

"I believe that the seeds of success in every nation are best planted in women and youth. Women entrepreneurs in Africa are on the rise as strong pillars", said the savvy businesswoman.