The heightened spread of COVID-19 is seeing many people resorting to crop farming for the purpose of subsistence and providing produce to the open market since there is a lack of green produce in the mainstream supermarkets and market stalls.
For Calvin “Khalie” Rabakali, it is the right time for him to extend his services to small farmers, big farmers and those who happen to plant greens in their homes, as he has just started small business as a pest control officer.
“Many of those venturing into farming do not have proper experience on pest control,” says Khalie. “Just imagine a situation where one spends their precious time preparing the soil for the plants, only to have those fresh plants perish because a virus had affected them. This is where I get in.”
In 2015, Khalie found himself grappling with the sting of being unemployed. When his mind was filled with worries that he was not going to provide for his wife and children, he had a dream in which he saw himself fumigating the fields and orchards in his locality. He didn’t take that dream lightly and went on to set up a small business.
“I had some background experience in pest control from my previous employment, since I knew better which chemicals were suitable for a variety of pests and plants. So I bought some chemicals and started moving around telling people that I could help them with pest control. In a short space of time, I had more clients than I had initially imagined!”
Khalie says that most parts of Vhembe district have termites and ants which affect houses. He adds that most private property owners have a tendency of building houses without first having the foundation treated with chemicals by a knowledgeable service provider.
“Even if it’s only a one room which you are building, the foundation and roofing need to be treated. Most people do not treat the foundations and roofing at all, and you wonder how long they expect their roofs to last, and if they wouldn’t be living in houses mushrooming with ants and termites. Treating foundations and roofs are part of preventative measures which every house owner must follow, and be on the safer side.”
Khalie is an itinerant pest control officer at his own company known as Mbelengwa Pest Control. He currently does all work in his company but hopes to employ two local youths to ensure that he adds his bit to job-creation.
Read about a young female farmer making waves in the farming sector here
Tell us: If you could start your own business, what would it be?