PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - While he is only 36 years old, Plettenberg Bay farmer Johan van der Schyff has been involved in farming for nearly two decades and it is therefore no surprise that this local egg producer took top honours in the SA Toyota National Young Farmer of the Year competition in Johannesburg last week.
This comes after he gained another feather in his cap when he won the Agri Western Cape Agriculture Young Farmer of the Year 2019 in Durbanville in May this year.
Van der Schyff began farming with his father while still at school and initially started with angoras, merinos and studs.
He first ventured into egg production when his father started an egg production unit in 2001 with about
100 000 hens. Van der Schyff was only in matric when he took on this venture. Soon after he took over the reins from his father, he managed to increase the farm's capacity to 220 000 layer hens, before establishing a second farm in Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape where he now boasts 250 000 layer hens.
In 2012, he established an egg-distribution depot in Kraaifontein in Cape Town, from where he distributes about millions of eggs per month. He also exports eggs to Angola and Namibia.
What impressed judges the most was that Van der Schyff managed to quadruple the business when he took over. Quality and client service also played a role in the judges' decision.
For Van der Schyff it is not about "going bigger" in terms of farming, but rather farming more efficiently. "I want to establish the farm as the preferred egg provider in the Western and Eastern Cape," he said.
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