Lutendo Steven Tshisevhe from Lwamondo Khumbe Village outside Thohoyandou, Limpopo is the owner of TLRT Nursery. It specializes in crafted and non-grafted fruit trees, flowers, Vegetable Seedlings, and Shade Trees.
The 34-year-old started the business in 2011 while working with a nursery production in the Thulamela area. Tshisevhe has now become a shining example of what self-employment is all about.
He acquired experience in Nursery, from Vhembe TVET College Mashamba South Campus and decided to open his backyard Nursery.
“I started producing my vegetable seedlings to plant in my garden and some other farmers were attracted by the work that I am doing,” he tells Limpopo Chronicle.
“They [customers] started to come to me to talk to me about which vegetable seedlings they are interested in and they like, and we discussed the business,” said Tshisevhe.
SELF-EMPLOYED LUTENDO TSHISEVHE PASSIONATE ABOUT NURSERY
He says he was motivated to work harder when customers started to embrace his business.
“The journey was not easy because I did not have enough finances to make up my plans so fast, the customers were too much. The demand was very high at the same time.
“I remember one of the clients who told me that you are innovative in the business of white people and you need to be strong. In 2018, I entered the competition of Youth Aspirations Farmer, and I won the competition as a second round-up position in the category of backyard farmers from the local municipality, and they gave me a certificate with the money. From there, I started to increase my business ideas,” he said.
CHALLENGES FACED WHEN RUNNING THE BUSINESS
“Some of them [customers] used to disrespect me when they were buying my products. Heavy rains damaged my seedlings and the customers who were placing the orders of seedlings started to complain that I was delaying them.
“They would threaten to take back their money and make alternative plans. But now we have improved our business by building the new greenhouse tunnel, and things are going well,” he explains.
HIS MAIN GOAL
“My goal is to be a commercial nursery farmer. My biggest achievement is to create a lot of job opportunities. Since I am a backyard nursery, I am unable to buy expensive pesticides. My clients are the community around Lwamondo, Ha- Mutsha, and Tshakhuma.
“My dream is to have a land where I will be able to run my nursery and create more employment, and see my nursery expanding and produce lots of trees so that there will be no shortage of fruit trees and flowers,” he said.