When Lefa Kgwadimanyane had to face the harsh reality of unemployment in Limpopo, he refused to accept this as his new reality.
Instead, he turned his focus to beetroot farming, and was able to provide for his family.
Kgwadimanyane dreams of large-scale farming one day, so that he can provide jobs to unemployed people and they too be able to feed their families. The Jane Furse resident told Vutivi News that since high school he had a passion for farming where he took agriculture as a subject.
“This year I decided that I wanted to turn my love for farming into a profitable venture, so I started by looking for a place to start farming,” he said.
“I decided to use our backyard, combined with our neighbours’s so that I am able to plant as many as I can.”
He started growing beetroot in October last year, and almost immediately it was popular because he worked hard at advertising it.
“Local businesses support me and buy my produce. Vendors that sell at markets stock their beetroot from me. Even those that sell on the highways and in town stock (my) beetroot… because they believe that the beetroot is of a high quality,” he said.
Also, big supermarkets in the area purchase his beetroot.
However, Kgwadimanyane has had to deal with many challenges, including water supply.
“I live in an area where the water supply is not consistent, and I do not have a borehole from which I can nourish my beetroot. Sometimes the water is made available and I do the best that I can to collect enough water so that I can continue farming.”
Also, living in a rural area has made it difficult to access the assistance that various government institutions offer small businesses.
“Access to information here is extremely limited, and if we have to travel to government institutions we have to go really far,” Kgwadimanyane said.
“This would have made applying for government funding easier for me.”
However, he said that nothing would to deter him from achieving his dream of supplying beetroot to his community and beyond.
“Agriculture requires someone who is willing to work hard and toil with everything in you so that you can enjoy the fruits of the land,” he said.
“A lot of young people are unemployed and are destitute, and as a result many of them turn to crime in order to survive. I want not only to provide them with job opportunities, but also to teach them the necessary skills in agriculture so that they, too, can empower themselves.”