A Shakawe-based farmer, Colin Moalosi and his family have embraced opportunities in the agricultural sector and commercialised their produce.
Moalosi, who owns a farm that operates under the name Chakanaka Farms, specialises in the production of tomatoes, green mealies, green pepper and butternut.
He said his breakthrough came through Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) funding. Moalosi added that they started with two hectares of land on which they produced fresh and quality products for their first crop harvest.
“The business has been good since we got funding from CEDA and managed to expand our produce,” he said.“We are currently farming on eight hectares which shows that there is so much growth in comparison to when we started operating.”
Just like many other businesses, he said Chakanaka encountered some challenges along the way.“Lack of energy source weighs so much on us as it drains our pockets as it makes us buy a lot of diesel to keep the machinery running which is very costly. Coupled with that hailstones recently made a lot of damage to our maize,” he said.
On a positive note, Moalosi stated that all the vegetables that they produce are
“We also play a role in marketing our products as we use social media to advertise,” he added. Currently the business has a staff complement of 10. They are paid above minimum wage as a way of encouraging them and making them feel they are part of the Chakanaka farms family.
However, Moalosi expressed his heartfelt gratitude to LEA as he stated that they have helped and contributed a lot towards the growth of the business.
“LEA has played a huge role in the success of our family business, they have been with us and helped us get funding from CEDA,” he explained.
Chakanaka registered with LEA in 2016. The government-owned agency offered Moalosi and his family services such as business planning, farm records, records keeping, technology audit, irrigation layout training, mentoring, enterprise monitoring and business coaching.