Young Farmer Masala Mpheni Ligege from Duthuni village, Limpopo started the Duthuni Farm and Projects in 2018 after he had been looking for employment without success.
Ligege says the high demand for fresh vegetables in his area was one of the reasons he decided to become a supplier. He currently supplies to local Markets and residents.
Ligege holds a National Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy from the University of Johannesburg, BTech Engineering Metallurgy at Tshwane University of Technology, and enrolled for Black Belt Lean Six Sigma at 2KO Afrika.
“I discovered my passion for vegetables after looking for employment for many years without success,” he said.
“I soon realised that I have a passion for farming and decided to open my own business. [I] tired of looking to others to find employment or to assist me. It is not easy to make a success of a farmer because there are many people around selling the very things and that makes the competition tough. The key is to be passionate about what you do and to be patient when things are going a bit rough,” he said.
LIMPOPO YOUNG FARMER WANT TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT FOR THE COMMUNITY
In 2018 he opened a cooperative with his five friends in Limpopo. But in the first year they struggled due to floods and they abandoned the business.
“We had a broiler, layer, and green pepper farm. After I was retrenched this year in March I reopened the business alone and planted 10 000 cabbages which I now supply to local markets and residents. I also started a piggery with 10 pigs at the moment. Acquired 3 hectares of land to further develop the business and centralize the produce.
He said that the most challenging part is finding the market, getting financial support from the government, and security.
“My family is very supportive, My mother helped me by giving me the land to plant, and would assist with contacts, and my siblings help with marketing and penetrating the market. My goal is to have a multi-disciplinary agricultural company, an abattoir, and more land to form. I aim to provide food security to people, provide jobs, and create a better life for the community,” he explains.
“Being a farmer came with many challenges such as a rise in the feed price, which resulted in the farm increasing the vegetable price to the customers. The farm’s biggest client remains the villagers, as well as retailers who buy bulk. This is not the easiest sector to participate in but all my hard work and determination are worth the rewards,” concludes Ligege.