Pfananani Augustine Nemasisi is the epitome of hard work and continues to prove wrong the view that youths are lazy and know nothing about farming.
Pfananani is farming along the Louis Trichardt/Madombidzha road, where he produces vegetables like cabbages, green peppers, spinach, and tomatoes. However, he points out that as a small boy growing up in Mukula in the Thulamela area, he had never thought that he would one day become a farmer.
“I never imagined my life as a farmer, and farming was never my passion,” he said. “But the passion for farming developed when I moved to Louis Trichardt after my parents had bought a farm there. I had no the knowledge of farming by then.”
But then, how did he come to have this knowledge which enabled him to plant 10 000 fresh cabbages and sell them all within three days in 2018?
“I experimented with farming, with a variety of produce,” he said. “When I had challenges I would always ask for advice from other people, most particularly the shops where I bought my farming needs.”
He stated that when he had planted the first 10 000 cabbages, many drivers passing on the road along his farm would decelerate and lean, heads out of the windows, to view in awe his succulent green of cabbages.
“The achievement of the 10 000 cabbages was a motivation for me and I was so encouraged to do better,” he said. “That initial success ignited my passion for farming and there has been no looking back.”
Pfananani’s target market are the feeding schemes, vegetable vendors, and small businesses. He has been delivering orders to Tshakhuma, Phiphidi, Makonde, Vuwani, Elim and Thohoyandou, Mokopane and Tzaneen.
“This businesses is proving viable in the open market, and I have employed three people and another two people on a part-time basis, all of whom were previously not earning a living,” he said.
“We are able to produce good vegetables and are able to survive and make reasonable profits.”
He added that he had a plan to employ more people on a full-time basis to add more value to the fight against unemployment in the country.
“But then the current resources which we have do not allow us to realise that dream,” he said. “Lack of financial aid is a challenge. I am afraid to employ more people because there are times when nature becomes a challenge or does not favour us, and then we lose our produce. But then if we have some form of financial aid, we can easily address that and employ more people, knowing that we have got something to fall back on.”
He understands that without more farming the country would have a food shortage. “The importance of crop production for me is that I am taking part in the economic growth and development of the country,” he said.
“I feel so happy when I realise that I am able to feed the world, and that somewhere someone is able to have food on the table because of my business.”
His love and passion for farming, and the undying support which he gets from his family, friends and community, keep him going from strength to strength.
“Farming has taught me to be patient and to share what I grow with less fortunate people. I believe that in giving, givers will never lack themselves,” he said.
“It has also taught me kindness and to respect my customers and meet their expectations.”
Pfananani has also helped other youths to establish their own farms from scratch. He is currently mentoring a group of four people because he believes that one loses nothing by sharing.
Pfananani can be reached on 079 929 5555.
Tell us: What do you think of this story?