Local entrepreneur, Maitumelo Mafhoko intends to assist farmers in transitioning into commercial farming to help develop the agricultural sector.
Mafhoko alongside his partner Takubana Mbulawa opened an Agriculture Service Centre in Sefhare, which aims to improve farming system locally and reduce heavily reliance on rain fed farming.
The Service Centre offers fertilisers, animal feeds, poultry feeds, piggery feeds, and farming implements like tractors and hoes. They also provide training to farmers, conduct soil testing and other services.
Mafhoko told MonitorBusiness that despite the fact that agriculture used to contribute a larger share to the country’s GDP that has seen a decline over the years. He said with his team of agronomists and chemists, they intend to empower and upskill farmers on commercial farming.
“Our climatic conditions have not been doing justice to farmers as well because initially we were more reliant on rain-fed farming. Over the years government has not been getting rewards after assisting farmers to plough only to reap very little yield if not nothing afterwards,” he said.
According to Mafhoko, their technical officers have been working with farmers in the SPEDU region to sensetise them on commercial farming.
“We all know that this is the region that has been based on manufacturing of tomato sauce, atchar to mention a few but
Since opening late last year, Mafhoko said the reception has been overwhelming, as farmers, who are mostly pensioners, have been coming to their office to get advice before ploughing. In addition they have plans to approach SPEDU and find ways to work with them to develop the agricultural sector.
“The elderly farmers are the ones who mostly come to us and enquire about our service. We have been testing some soil from some of their farms and advised some who have been grateful because before they had to travel long distances to access such services,” he said.
He added that they have also been advising them to consider raw planting and even venture into horticulture, which he said might boost their farming, as there is a market.
“We are very optimistic about this and even have plans to help them market their produce in future because we want to see them producing in large quantities to even export to other markets,” he said.