Farming covers the production of almost all kinds of animals, crops, fruits and vegetables suitable for a moderate to subtropical climate. Farmers are responsible for most of the production of a country's foodstuffs either through crop or stock farming. Another important responsibility of farmers is the conservation of the country's natural resources.

Farmers combine agricultural and business methods in operating small or large farms. Farmers’ objectives are to make farming activities productive, profitable and professional.

The nature of the work differs according to the size and type of farm. The topography, climate and vegetation of an area determine the type of farming practised. On small farms, farmers may perform the actual labour, as well as plan and direct farming operations.

With crop farming, farmers perform a wide range of duties, such as determining land use, planting, fertilising, spraying, cultivating and harvesting procedures as well as marketing.

On livestock farms, farmers take care of animals. The correct breeding or incubation programme as well as feeding programmes, need to be followed. Pastures have to be planned and controlled in such a way that enough grazing will be available for the animals. Animals must also be vaccinated against illnesses. Wool, meat and dairy products need to be processed and marketed.

Farmers are also employers. The number of labourers each farmer employs is in direct proportion to the size and profitability of the farm and the degree of mechanisation. Farmers need to be well informed on all legislation that regulates labour relations in agriculture.

Farmers evaluate existing practices and look at methods for improvements. They maintain financial records, purchase supplies, determine labour needs and hire and supervise workers.


  • large farming corporations

  • owners of large farms

  • Department of Agriculture

  • Department of Health

  • Department of Land Affairs

  • universities, universities of technology and agricultural colleges

  • self-employment, with own farm

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work as a farm-hand

  • grow vegetables in your own garden

  • keep and care for pets

  • arrange to visit different farms and speak to farmers about this type of career


Boland TVET College, Botswana College of Agriculture, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Central University of Technology, Coastal KZN TVET College, Ehlanzeni TVET College, Esayidi TVET College, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Tanzania), King Hintsa TVET College, Letaba TVET College, Lovedale Public TVET College, Majuba TVET College, Maluti TVET College, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Mauritius Institute of Training and Development, Mthashana TVET College, Namibia University of Science and Technology, National University of Lesotho, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, North-West University, Sokoine University of Agriculture, South West Gauteng TVET College, Tshwane University of Technology, Umfolozi TVET College, University of Dar Es Salaam, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Mauritius, University of Mpumalanga, University of Namibia, University of Stellenbosch, University of Swaziland, University of the Free State, Vuselela TVET College, Walter Sisulu University, Waterberg TVET College, Western TVET College

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