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Give thanks to the farmer because the farmer ensures you have something to eat today. The whole process of planting trees or vegetables starts with nursery and that’s the role perfectly played by Mokgethwa Mathews Sekatane of Chochocho.
“I like farming more than anything else and my area of specialty is nursery. My dream is to own a big nursery so I can become
a big market supplier,” said Mokgethwa.
Mokgethwa was born in 1982 and he took the skills of farming from his father who was also a renowned small-scale farmer.
He started very early in his because where he comes from farming is part of their everyday life. Moreover, his father insisted that your hands and brains can give you a better life than a normal 9-5 job.
“I think today’s farming is better because you can learn a lot of better ways to maximize production and how to produce the end-products even via reading books, social media interaction, or through YouTube, unlike in my father’s time. We also use advanced methods of the nursery, like an air layering system. That’s a system where you use a branch from the mother plant, not a seed. I think I stand a good chance of growing,” he said.
Mr. Selekane says he specializes in fruit nurseries. “I do fruits like mangoes, litchis, lemons, naartjies, Pine trees or
windbreaker trees, avocado, guavas, oranges, paw-paws, etc. We supply around in small quantities because I’ve decided to stop sending products to places like Tzaneen. Instead of sending mangoes there for them to make atchara, we make our own atchar here. We make atchar, juice, wine and natural herbs,” he said.
He says their production is higher than demand. His 4 hectares farm is proving to be unable to handle the demand. If I could double the 4 hectares, I’d be able to handle the production pressure for now. The business is growing fast.
“I wish and intend to expand as we still do have an opportunity to. In Chochocho land is no big deal. We still have enough. It’s just that I have a full-time job that takes up some of my farming time. I do have 3 people that I work with on the farm and I believe in them but I trust that if I could myself more, I’d see more growth,”
“I also go out on calls to assist people with what I do at the farm. I see myself as someone who can bring a change in the nursery sphere. I do that work with ease,” said Mr. Selekane.
Mr. Matthews’s challenge is transport and he has no assistance from anyone. “We now and then struggle with transportation. If we could get a bakkie things would be better. I’m making a call to the Department of Agriculture to assist emerging farmers in ways that will develop them. Our future depends largely on farming for food security and our economy again depends on food production.” he said.