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From politics to farming

Full-time commercial farmer Clara Bohitile

Full-time commercial farmer Clara Bohitile

Clara Bohitile has emerged as one of the country’s most successful female commercial farmers for almost 30 years, besides her long standing political background as a parliamentarian.
Over the years she managed to upgrade from being a part-time communal farmer to a full-time commercial farmer.
She was presented with the Emerging Farmer of the Year Award in 2006 and believes in running her farm as a business by viewing her livestock as “dollars and cents on four legs.”
This is the motto with which she has successfully managed her farming business ‘Farm Tennessee’ in the Omaheke Region.
Her journey started back in the year 2000 when Clara Bohitile bought unused land some 90 kilometres south west of Gobabis. She acquired a business loan to upgrade the water points for her livestock and for human consumption.
“This was a good investment for me because I wanted to not only make the farm habitable, but also wanted to upgrade the farming facilities like the water tank, dams, a borehole, solar system and water troughs for my livestock,” said Bohitile who farms with Brahman and Beef Master cattle, and recently added Sussex bulls and game. Her farming business grew to such an extent that in 2012 she further enhanced the water facilities by the installation of additional boreholes equipped with solar pumps and facilities to accommodate guests and a camp-site for hunters.
“For me it is all about the convenience of farming.

It is extremely important that as a farmer, one needs to be able to live and operate in a proper housing facility in order to be more productive. The guest house is an additional business to my farm and I believe it is important to diversity your options as a farmer in order be more competitive in running a viable business,” explained Bohitile.
She added that the farm should be treated like any other business as livestock generates a lot of income. Bohitile warned that farming is also not for the faint hearted as it requires knowledge, understanding and skills of the industry.
“Arm yourself with the relevant knowledge in order to get the right price for your animals at auctions and abattoirs, ensure that your farm is productive by having enough calves and lambs to carry your farming business, know how to manage your farm in times of drought, a loan always helps to get you going,” said Bohitile.

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